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Portman Urges Senate Action on Heroin Bill

January 26, 2016 - 6:41 PM

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced that he has invited Tonda DaRe from Carrollton, Ohio to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow about the heroin epidemic in Ohio. DaRe is the founder of Holly’s Song of Hope, which seeks to help Ohioans struggling with addiction. She founded Holly’s Song of Hope in June 2015 after losing her 21 year-old daughter Holly to addiction. DaRe will testify before the Judiciary Committee tomorrow to share Holly’s story and work to break the stigma of addiction.  

“Tonda has turned personal tragedy into a mission to save others and I’m honored to have her join us,” Portman stated. “I believe the heroin epidemic in Ohio has reached crisis levels and Tonda will provide valuable information about what more can be done to help people turn their lives around.” 

“I look forward to testifying before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and sharing my personal experience about losing my daughter Holly to a heroin overdose,” said DaRe.“We need to work together to break the stigma attached to addiction and encourage people to seek treatment and commit to recovery.  This is why I started Holly’s Song of Hope. I hope the hearing will bring more attention to this issue and encourage a more comprehensive response to the overdose epidemic.”

Below is a rundown of what Portman’s heroin bill will do.

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S.524/H.R.953) will:

  • Expand prevention and educational efforts—particularly aimed at teens, parents and other caretakers, and aging populations—to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery.  
  • Expand the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders to help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives.  
  • Expand resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction disorders promptly by collaborating with criminal justice stakeholders and by providing evidence-based treatment.
  • Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the hands of our children and adolescents.
  • Launch an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and intervention program to expand best practices throughout the country.
  • Launch a medication assisted treatment and intervention demonstration program.
  • Strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs to help states monitor and track prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals access services.
  • Only through a comprehensive approach that leverages evidence-based law enforcement and health care services, including treatment, can we stop and reverse current trends.
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