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Walden: ‘All hands on deck’ to fight opioid abuse


Continuing his efforts to fight opioid addiction in Oregon, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., led a hearing Tuesday on how to address the crisis that is plaguing the state.

During the hearing, Walden discussed how to best combat fentanyl, a deadly drug that is accelerating opioid abuse in Oregon and across the country.

“Fentanyl makes the deadly threat of opioid abuse even deadlier. In 2014 and 2015 in my home state of Oregon, a reported 49 people died from fentanyl. The number of deaths from fentanyl appears to be rising, and that’s just what we know,” Walden said.

“As we work to combat this quickly evolving public health threat, there’s an important question to be asked. How can we fight this threat when we don’t even know how quickly it is spreading?

“Combating this growing, multi-faceted fentanyl threat will require more than the drug-control strategies aimed at opioid overprescribing and heroin,” the congressman said. “Fentanyl is a global problem that requires an urgent response.

“I commend the efforts of our government, Office of National Drug Control Policy. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the State Department, particularly, for their success in gaining cooperation with China and the United Nations.

“We need to continue and support this international engagement to be successful. Like our work on the opioid epidemic last Congress, combating fentanyl truly requires an all-hands-on-deck effort,” Walden concluded.

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