How to fight the opioid battle

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If this nation wants to fight the opioid addiction crisis, it’s difficult to imagine a better way than the plan Jason Lewis has put together. Earlier this week, Lewis hosted a roundtable discussion on the subject.

According to the article, the roundtable took place in Apple Valley on the afternoon of Monday, July 2. Participants were Bryan Klabunde of the Minnesota Farmers Union; Larry Bourgerie of the Society for Human Resource Management; former addict and author of ‘Six Years Lost’ Ben Schmidt, and Maura McGarry, LGSW, of the Opiate Treatment Program at the Minneapolis VA. The group talked about efforts across the state to combat the opioid crisis and possibilities for future legislation.”

Lewis isn’t just talking about the problem either. He’s introduced legislation to create the “bipartisan Opioid Advisory Committee at Department of Labor”, which “was introduced by Lewis and Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pennsylvania.” Most impressively, “it passed the House by voice vote” on June 13. To get anything passed in DC on a major issue requires dedication and skill. To get major legislation passed on a voice vote is unheard of.

This is why the citizens need to re-elect Rep. Lewis. First, this is proof that he’s a problem-solver. In case nobody’s noticed, Washington, DC has a shortage of those these days. Next, Lewis doesn’t just talk about getting things done in a bipartisan fashion. He’s now got a history of bringing people together to fix problems. Third, it requires skill to put legislation like this together.

Think about this:

The bipartisan Opioid Advisory Committee at Department of Labor was introduced by Lewis and Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pennsylvania. It seeks to create a committee to advise the secretary of labor on actions the department can take to address the impact of opioid abuse on the workplace. On June 13, it passed the House by voice vote. The Advisory Committee will discuss opioid abuse and its impact on employer substance abuse policies, employer-provided benefits, workplace safety, productivity and absenteeism, alternative pain management treatments, employee privacy, community-based initiatives and workplace policies to reduce the stigma of opioid abuse.

The Advisory Committee will issue a report on successful programs and best practices for how employers can engage with employees affected by opioid abuse.

This is what’s already possible: