The ongoing opioid crisis in America is a national tragedy, and the problem is only getting worse. In recent years, the number of opioid-related deaths has skyrocketed, and the number of overdose deaths are on the rise. Congress has taken some action to combat this epidemic, but we must do more to build on our progress.

For me, this crisis is personal. When I woke up in Walter Reed Army Medical Center after surviving a bomb blast in Afghanistan, I was given a host of prescription drugs I had never even heard of before. My first priority became weaning myself off of these treatments, but nothing prepared me for the challenge of going from that lowest dose of morphine to getting off opioids altogether. I expected the pain of my injury to be the toughest challenge I faced, but getting off these drugs was even harder.

I know the toll opioids take, and I have learned there is no silver bullet that can solve this issue. But we can take steps in the right direction. Since coming to Congress, I’ve helped pass roughly 50 bills to support opioid treatment and prevention, and I have no plans of stopping. I will continue to fight for further action to end this epidemic, and I encourage you to reach out to those in your own life who are struggling with addiction or other mental illness. I would not be where I am today if my family didn’t do that for me in my own time of need.

For anyone currently trying to end dependence on opioids or other drugs, know that I support you in your efforts, and I am living proof that it is possible. If I can help in any way, please reach out to my office at 202-225-3026. You can also find additional resources below:

Find Treatment Near You

Understanding the Opioid Epidemic

The Surgeon General’s Spotlight on Opioids

Congressional Action on the Opioid Epidemic