Rep. Paul Cook Votes in Support of Legislation to Stem Opioid Epidemic

By on June 22, 2018

The statistics are staggering. More than 115 people die as a result of opioid abuse and overdose every day. An estimated 2.1 million people suffered from an opioid use disorder and more than 42,000 died from opioid overdose in 2016 alone.

Rep. Paul Cook (R-8th District-Apple Valley) and his colleagues in the House have overwhelming passed HR 5788, the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act of 2018. This legislation aims to stop the flow of synthetic opioids in the international mail system by strengthening the oversight on international shipments and enabling the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to better target high-risk shipments for inspection and seizure. HR 5788 is one of several bills passed recently by the House aimed at fighting the growing opioid epidemic.

Rep. Cook said, “This week Congress passed more than 25 bills specifically targeting the opioid crisis…we need to take action now. There’s still work to be done, but we’re making progress on fighting this epidemic that’s causing so much death and suffering.”

Rep. Cook also recently voted for HR 5009, known as Jessie’s Law. Jessie, a Michigan college student turned to heroin to try to escape the trauma of being sexually assaulted. Addiction took seven years of Jessie’s life but she battled back, going through rehab four times. She had been clean for six months when she developed a running-related infection in her hip that required surgery.

Although her Jessie’s parents informed the hospital that she was a recovering addict and should not be prescribed opioids, that message never made it to the discharging physician. Without knowing her addiction history, the doctor prescribed 50 oxycodone pills and Jessie fatally overdosed the next day.

HR 5009 requires the Department of Health and Human Services to develop and annually disseminate best practices regarding the prominent display of substance use disorder history in records of patients who have previously provided this information to a health care provider. The legislation ensures medical professionals have access to a consenting patient’s complete health information when making treatment decisions. The House unanimously passed HR 5009.

To view the recent legislation Congress has passed to stem the opioid crisis, go to: https://energycommerce.house.gov/opioids-legislation/.

Rep. Cook’s 8th District includes the city of Yucaipa. In addition to the Apple Valley District Office, Rep. Cook maintains a Yucaipa District Office at 34282 Yucaipa Blvd. in Yucaipa. The phone number is: 909-797-4900. Please call for the hours of availability before visiting the Yucaipa office.