Addiction tearing America apart brings political opponents together

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Political opponents join together to fight a common enemy: addiction.

The left and right share a sliver of common ground in DC. Fifty-six democrats and 44 republicans in the House are pushing eight proposed laws to loosen opiate-addiction’s ever-tightening grip on America.

“Heroin addiction does not choose Rs and Ds,” said Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH).

The Bipartisan Heroin Task Force she helped form wants to crack down on over-prescription and prescription theft, make funds and drugs for addiction treatment more available, and provide more assistance to veterans when addiction lands them in court.

Last year this group brought forward a similar agenda. Of the nine bills on that list, most are stalled.

New Hampshire Rep. Annie Kuster’s bill to collect better data on VA prescriptions did become law – and Wednesday, President Trump signed another bill dealing with drugs at the border. The law calls on Customs and Border Protection to increase the number of chemical screening devices in use. The goal is catch more narcotics before they enter the country.

“We’ve worked across the aisle to achieve real results,” said Kuster.

Representative, and Dr. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) proposes limiting physicians. He wants opiate prescriptions restricted to a 10-day supply and the lowest effective dose with few exceptions.

Roe said the reasoning is simple, “we know that the longer you use them, the more likely you are to become addicted to these drugs.”

Time is already running short for this year’s push. That’s because with an election coming this November, lawmakers will need to spend time on the campaign trail, and away from D.C.

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