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September 20, 2022

Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force, House Leadership Release Statements for Recovery Month

September 20, 2022

Sasha Galbreath, (Trone)
Hannah Pope, (Fitzpatrick)
Jen Fox, (Kuster)
Craig Wheeler, (Herrera Beutler)

Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force, House Leadership Release Statements for Recovery Month

Nearly 150 Republican and Democratic Members of Congress participate in the 2022 Congress Goes Purple Member photo 

For Recovery Month and Congress’ Day of Action: Congress Goes Purple, the Co-Chairs of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force, Reps. David Trone (D-MD), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Annie Kuster (D-NH), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), released the following statement to honor those in recovery:

“Every September, the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force recognizes National Recovery Month to increase public awareness surrounding mental health and addiction recovery. 

“Since 1999, we’ve lost over one million Americans to drug overdoses. Just last year, more than 107,000 Americans died from an overdose, and it’s estimated that this crisis takes a $1 trillion toll on our economy every year. Even worse, a recent Stanford study projects that 1.2 million more Americans will perish from drug-related overdoses in this decade.

“As a 140-Member strong alliance to combat the addiction and mental health crises, the Task Force has introduced over 100 bills to address these epidemics and their grave impacts head-on – seven have already been signed into law and 22 have passed the House. This comprehensive agenda serves as a legislative roadmap for Congress to take deliberate, urgent action to tackle these issues from every angle.

“No community, no neighborhood, and no family have gone untouched by this epidemic. Those among us who are struggling with mental illness or substance use disorder need to know that there is no shame in seeking help. 

“This month, and every month, we reaffirm our commitment to passing effective, bipartisan legislation to fight these epidemics that have taken far too many lives, far too soon.”

Members from House leadership joined the Task Force in celebrating Recovery Month:

“As Congress Goes Purple to mark National Recovery Month, we are proud to stand with the millions of Americans battling substance use disorders across our country,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “The House is grateful for the visionary work of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force’s devoted Co-Chairs: David Trone, Brian Fitzpatrick, Annie Kuster, and Jaime Herrera Beutler. Guided by their persistent leadership, the House will continue working, on a bipartisan basis, to support all those fighting to overcome addiction – combating stigma, expanding access to care, and supporting the caregivers helping them on their journey toward recovery.”

“Each and every year I join my friend Congressman David Trone and the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force to recognize the strength and resilience of millions of Americans recovering from substance use and addiction,” said Leader Hoyer. “I thank Rep. Trone for his leadership in passing legislation that will combat the addiction crisis in our country. Today, as Members participate in the Congress Goes Purple Congressional Day of Action, I know that we will continue fighting to raise awareness on this issue, eliminate the stigma associated with addiction, and lift up those who are in recovery.”

The Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force merged Trone’s Freshmen Working Group on Addiction and the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force, which was co-chaired by Reps. Kuster and Fitzpatrick in the 116th Congress and founded by Rep. Kuster in 2015.

The purpose of the new Task Force is to combine efforts to make the most progress possible on addiction and mental health in the 117th Congress. The forthcoming 2022 Legislative Agenda will address these dual public health crises that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated. The group hosts regular meetings with stakeholders, attends site visits, and creates policies that will save lives.