My statement from the floor of the Senate Judiciary Committee – video

Phone Q&A with Dr Karen M Lackey Follows the Committee Hearing – My Statement From the Floor Here’s what happened today. I’ve been a mom for more than five years, and my 13-year-old son has been battling addiction since he was 5 years old. I became alarmed by the real possibility of a national epidemic of drug use. At the same time, I was assured from various sources that we’d never have this kind of crisis.

Substance abuse from opioids, including heroin, has quickly spread across our nation – and it has exploded in epidemic proportions. More people are dying every day. In 2015, this issue reached a breaking point. It was an event so shocking and unusual that I became convinced I had to speak out. That’s why I went to the Senate Judiciary Committee and testified. Today, I wanted to share the next stage of my testimony and share what I learned.

We were only in the early months of President Trump’s Administration, and I was under a legal requirement to notify the committee of my intentions to serve as a commissioner, except that I needed to submit a letter prior to August 21st. As a result, I didn’t file the letter until well after I had secured my confirmation on August 30th. As you know, the OMB has been trying to get through my confirmation before budget deadlines, and I was unable to sign my letter early because I knew I’d be unable to get this paperwork to the Senate Judiciary Committee on time.

There are four general areas I’ve raised with you as a matter of substance. They are as follows: the opioid crisis, epidemic response, the abuse of prescription opioids, and patients’ rights. During this long hearing process, I’ve had several chances to present my view on these issues. My testimony today covers them.

If I never gave testimony before today, I would have still written about addiction in the opiod crisis. You can learn more about me and my experience in sharing my story here.

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