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This just in. . . Indiana Groups Announce Support for  Donnelly-Ayotte Bill to Combat Heroin Use and Prescription Drug Abuse

Indiana Groups Announce Support for Donnelly-Ayotte Bill to Combat Heroin Use and Prescription Drug Abuse
Bipartisan Legislation Earns Endorsements from Local Law Enforcement, Organizations

** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE **

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Contact: Donnelly_Press@Donnelly.Senate.Gov
Phone: 202-224-0972

Washington, D.C. — Following Senator Joe Donnelly’s introduction of bipartisan legislation to combat heroin use and prescription drug abuse with Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), a half dozen Indiana organizations, including law enforcement, announced they are endorsing the effort.  The Heroin and Prescription Opioid Abuse Prevention, Education, and Enforcement Act of 2014 has earned the support of: the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP); The Carmel Police Department; Drug Free Marion County; The Marion County Commission on Youth (MCCOY); HVAF (Hoosier Veteran Assistance Fund) of Indiana; and Justin Phillips, a mother who lost her son to an overdose of heroin and created a nonprofit Overdose-Lifeline, Inc. The legislation aims to stop the abuse of prescription pain medication while also giving law enforcement the tools they need to prevent heroin use and addiction.

Syracuse Police Chief Tony Ciriello, President of Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police, said, “IACP supports this bill and Senator Donnelly’s efforts to assist with the dilemma we face in Indiana when it comes to heroin and prescription opioids abuse. It is vital that at all levels of government that we work together as one to focus on ways to reduce or eliminate the abuse and illegal sales of these drugs and the associated crimes.”

Carmel Police Chief Tim Green, said, “Senator Donnelly worked with local law enforcement to determine what was needed to best combat the issue. The bipartisan legislation proposed will help provide law enforcement with the relevant information, tools and financial resources that will assist them in their efforts to fight heroin and prescription drug abuse.”

Randy Miller, Executive Director, Drug Free Marion County, said, “Drug Free Marion County supports comprehensive measures and timely methods to address the opiate and heroin epidemic that is ravaging Indianapolis and other communities across the country.  Being actively involved in local efforts to halt the waste of human lives to the disease of addiction and overdose deaths that sometimes are a result, we believe there is an urgent need for all of us to take actions that will reduce and prevent this unfolding tragedy that is impacting our health, welfare and safety.  We applaud Senator Donnelly and Senator Ayotte for promoting ways the federal government can assist local law enforcement and others in implementing effective strategies to curb the harmful consequences of the abuse of prescription pain medicines and heroin.” 

Mindi Goodpaster, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, Marion County Commission on Youth, said, “The Marion County Commission on Youth (MCCOY) applauds Senator Donnelly’s introduction of the Heroin and Prescription Opioid Abuse Prevention, Education, and Enforcement Act.  Indiana has a growing problem of heroin and prescription drug abuse among youth and additional resources are necessary to effectively provide affordable and accessible treatment options to them. This act will not only help adults who are abusing pain medications, but through education and awareness, will also address the access that youth have to their parents’ prescription medications. This act will create a more comprehensive effort to address the complex problem of substance abuse and addiction in Indiana and across the country.”

Cindy Thomas, Executive Vice President, HVAF (Hoosier Veteran Assistance Fund) of Indiana, said, “Prescription drug abuse remains a grim problem among the homeless veterans we serve at HVAF of Indiana and we commend the collaborative work of Senators Donnelly and Ayotte for drafting legislation to create an interagency task force to address this growing problem.  HVAF of Indiana is proud to support this legislation and we are hopeful it will be successful as we all fight to end the cycle of heroin and opioid addiction that is so devastating.”

Justin Phillips, mother to Aaron Sims who died of a heroin overdose in October 2013 and founder of a new non-profit Overdose-Lifeline, Inc., said, “There is an awful stigma attached to heroin use and in order to help save lives, we have to talk about heroin and find ways to prevent abuse. This bill from Senator Donnelly and Senator Ayotte will create important partnerships locally and at the state and federal levels to save lives from heroin and opiate addictions.”

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