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Washington, D.C. – Today at the opening of its opioid memorial on the Ellipse in President’s Park, the National Safety Council called on federal leaders to adopt a number of legislative actions that are proven to save lives and reduce the number of opioid overdoses. As the country finds itself in the throes of the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, the Council is asking lawmakers to double down on existing policies, expand others and implement new actions around prevention, prescribing practices, treatment, and data collection.
NSC made the request in front of its traveling Prescribed to Death opioid exhibit and memorial to those lost to the opioid epidemic. The request comes just days after issuing recommendations to the states in its Prescription Nation report released at the National Rx and Heroin Summit in Atlanta.
“The National Safety Council commends Congress and the Administration for taking a number of actions to address the crisis in our medicine cabinets,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “However, this epidemic needs even more aggressive intervention. We hope that putting a face on the statistics of the thousands lost to this epidemic inspires a greater sense of urgency among all stakeholders to continue their work to eliminate preventable drug overdose deaths.”
Specifically, the Council urges the federal government to address the opioid epidemic through to the following actions:
It is imperative that new laws be accompanied by public education. The Prescribed to Death exhibit is intended to begin to fill the education gap and encourage visitors to have discussions with their families, friends and prescribers about the risks involved with taking opioids. One in three Americans who were prescribed an opioid did not realize the medicine they were taking was an opioid, according to the NSC survey.
Prescribed to Death is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 12-18 on the Ellipse in President’s Park, on Constitution Ave. between 15th and 17th streets. Visit stopeverydaykillers.org for information about the campaign.
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