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Committee Examines Federal Response to Opioid Abuse

On March 22, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing, “America’s Heroin and Opioid Abuse Epidemic.” The hearing focused on federal strategies to address the epidemic of opioid abuse.

“The administration continues to focus on vulnerable populations affected by opioids, including pregnant women and their newborns,” said Michael Botticelli, director, Office of National Drug Control Policy. Mr. Botticelli continued, “When used chronically by pregnant women, both prescription opioids and heroin can cause withdrawal symptoms in newborns at birth; if these opioids were withdrawn during pregnancy, fetal harm could result.”

The following witnesses also testified:

  • Lou Milione, deputy assistant administrator, Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration;
  • Kana Enomoto, acting administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration;
  • Leana Wen, commissioner, Department of Health, Baltimore City; and
  • The Honorable Teresa Jacobs, mayor, Orange County, FL.
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