U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) released this statement encouraging participation in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28, 2018. Last fall, over 900,000 pounds of pills were collected at sites across the country. To find a participating site near you, click here.
"I've seen and heard how the opioid crisis is devastating families and communities across the country, but especially in rural areas like my district. This Saturday, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, gives people the opportunity to safely dispose of old or unused pills sitting in their medicine cabinet. We all must do what we can to fight back and we can start by disposing of prescriptions we aren't using anymore. There isn't just one solution to the crisis. I continue to communicate with those on the frontlines to ensure they have the necessary resources and the laws we have are working to help them fight this epidemic.”
In 2016, nearly 64,000 Americans died from a drug overdose and the number of overdoses in rural communities greatly surpasses those in urban areas. Illinois saw a 66% increase from previous years.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development
In March, Davis hosted an Opioid Tour with USDA Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, Anne Hazlett. Davis and Hazlett's tour, along with Greene County Sheriff, Rob McMillan, were featured in a USDA video highlighting the need to help rural America fight the opioid crisis. Click here for the full video.
They visited four rural, public health departments in the 13th district to meet with local leaders and stakeholders to learn how rural communities have been affected, what they are doing to combat the opioid epidemic, and what can be done on the federal level to further address the crisis.
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, passed in 2016, was the first major piece of legislation to provide measures to prevent addiction and tools for law enforcement to combat it. In the omnibus appropriations signed into law last month, there was the largest investment to date to further address prevention, treatment, and enforcement. The Rural Communities Opioid Response program specifically targets hard-hit rural America, like the 13th district.
Currently, Illinois requires pharmacies to record information about the prescription recipient into the Illinois Prescription Management Program, but not the person picking up the prescription. This has led to what is known as 'pharmacy shopping' where drug dealers seek out pharmacies to fill opioid prescriptions prescribed to someone else. H.R. 5219 is the result of a meeting where the Normal Police Department described this problem they were seeing in the area.