Reps. Schneider and Quigley Meet with Community Leaders to Discuss Opioid Crisis
Congressmen Brad Schneider (IL-10) and Mike Quigley (IL-05) today convened a roundtable discussion with patients, doctors, advocates and other community leaders to discuss their efforts to address the epidemic of opioid addiction afflicting Illinois and the country.
Schneider and Quigley listened to stories from individuals and family members who have personally felt the toll of opioid abuse, as well as the perspectives of the medical community and local government leaders attempting to respond to the crisis.
Congressman Schneider discussed the Opioid PACE (Preventing Addiction through Continuing Education) Act, legislation he recently introduced to prevent overprescribing and better equip doctors to identify and treat abuse by requiring continuing education for medical professionals that prescribe opioids for pain management.
Photo Caption: Congressman Brad Schneider speaks at a roundtable meeting with patients, doctors, and community leaders on the opioid crisis.
“The moving personal stories from today’s roundtable highlight that we must treat opioid addiction like the disease that it is,” said Schneider. “Medical professionals are on the frontlines against misuse, and the Opioid PACE Act will ensure our doctors are informed on the most up-to-date best practices to help our communities fighting back against this epidemic.”
“The growing opioid crisis hits far too close to home, and we must take immediate action to address the epidemic running rampant in our own backyard,” said Quigley. “I want to thank all of those who participated in today’s discussion for offering critical insight into the challenges and strategies at hand, as well as my friend Rep. Schneider for introducing this vital legislation to provide our health care professionals with the tools and resources they need to deepen their understanding of opioid addiction, curb availability, and help save lives.”
Schneider and Quigley also spoke out forcefully against the Republican “repeal and replace” health care bill, which recently passed the House. The American Health Care Act would roll-back the Medicaid expansion and allow states to opt out of requirements that insurance companies cover mental health and substance abuse treatment.
“More than 1.3 million Americans receive substance abuse and other mental health treatment through Medicaid, and the GOP health care bill will yank the rug out from under them,” said Schneider. “By making it harder for vulnerable Americans seeking treatment, the American Health Care Act will add fuel to the fire of the opioid epidemic.”
A full list of roundtable participants follows below:
- Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10)
- Congressman Mike Quigley (IL-05)
- Kathy Kelly, mother featured in HBO documentary Warning: This Drug May Kill You
- Mark Meltzer, advocate
- Dr. Adam Rubinstein, Private Practice, Internal Medicine/Opioid Addiction
- Dr. Celeste Napier, Rush Medical College, Director, Center for Compulsive Behavior and Addiction
- Samara Rubin, Director of Marketing and Outreach, Live4Lali
- Sally Thoren, Executive Director, Gateway Chicago
- Karen Wolownik Albert, Executive Director, Gateway Lake Villa
- Mike Nerheim, Lake County State’s Attorney
- Eric Guenther, Mundelein Police Chief
Photo Caption (L to R): Congressman Brad Schneider, Congressman Mike Quigley, Dr. Celeste Napier, Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim.