If you are reading this, it is likely you know of the opioid epidemic plaguing this country. This tragedy has been played out in cities across our country, leaving overdoses and broken communities in its wake. But bold political leadership can help solve this problem and restore the lives damaged by opioids. Rep. Steve Knight is providing that leadership as our representative in Congress.
Knight worked on drug-related issues for 18 years in the Los Angeles Police Department and has brought that experience to the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force in Congress. There he has authored and helped pass legislation that appropriates $20 million to the National Guard’s counterdrug program. These funds will combat drug trafficking and stop drugs before they reach our communities.
Though he has worked to stop opioid trafficking, Knight has also sought to empower professionals who treat addicts. Last month, Knight helped pass the most sweeping package of legislation Congress has yet considered to address this issue. Nearly 40 bills were included in the package, which included provisions helping medical professionals get access to complete medical records for patients being treated for opioid abuse. It also requires the surgeon general to act in response to the rise in synthetic drug use, especially the use of fentanyl. This vital legislation will be the first step toward giving localities and medical professionals the tools they need to treat addicts.
Knight has also introduced and passed more targeted legislation to help some of the most tragic victims of the opioid epidemic: military veterans. This legislation, the Combating Opioid Misuse Before Addiction for our Troops Act, stops the over-prescription of painkillers to active service members, veterans, and members of military families.
Understanding how people become addicted is essential for prevention, and Knight’s bill accounts for this by stopping doctors from over-prescribing painkillers and risking addiction for their patients.