Across Virginia, I’ve consistently heard how opioid addiction is challenging law enforcement, making it hard for businesses to hire and hurting families from all walks of life. That’s why I was so pleased the President touched on this issue in his final State of the Union address last night. My guest for his speech last night was Alexandria resident Don Flattery, who lost his 26-year-old son Kevin – a UVA graduate and alum of Gonzaga College High School – to an opioid overdose in 2014. Since Kevin's death, Don has used his story to become an advocate in the fight against opioid addiction. He is also a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse. I applaud Don for doing everything he can to raise awareness and take action to stop this epidemic.
A bill I’ve introduced, the Co-prescribing Saves Lives Act, would help prevent overdoses by increasing access to the life-saving drug Naloxone. It’s just one of a number of steps Congress should take to save lives and stop opioid abuse from robbing us of young people with so much potential like Don’s son Kevin. The scourge of opioid addiction cuts across party lines and it’s up to Congress to work together this year to pass smart solutions.