The Addiction Policy Forum collaborated with families from across the nation to discuss how addiction impacts families, and why we need to address addiction in a comprehensive way - both in Congress and in every community in the United States.
On Wednesday, May 18th, 22 of the CARA Family Day participants gave testimony in front of members of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, led by Task Force Co-Chairs Frank Guinta (R-NH) and Ann Kuster (D-NH). Families stood in solidarity with fellow panelists and shared how addiction has personally affected them and their loved ones, asking Congress to take swift action to address this deadly epidemic; 47,055 Americans died in 2014 from drug overdose, and that number is rising every year.
Thursday, May 19th, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Congressman Frank Guinta (R-NH), Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), and Congressman Robert J. Dold (R-IL) spoke at the 129 a Day press conference, along with several family members, and recognized the families who lost a loved one to a substance use disorder.
Families then met with their members of Congress to encourage them to pass legislation that will comprehensively address the opioid epidemic, including S. 524/H.R. 953, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA). CARA Family Day attendees advocated for those with substance abuse disorder, and their families, stressing the importance of a comprehensive response to addiction, which includes prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement.
In addition to events for CARA Family Day, the Addiction Policy Forum launched #129aDay, an awareness and action campaign. #129aDay represents the number of individuals who die each day from a substance use disorder: parents, siblings, children, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends. To learn more about #129aDay, visit www.129aday.org
See more photos from Cara Family Day here.
CARA Family Day Video: