U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, on the House floor this week compared a slate of bills targeting the opioid epidemic to the equivalent of using a garden hose to fight a wildfire.
Congress is considering more than 30 bills to address what health experts have characterized as an ongoing crisis.
More than 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016, the deadliest year on record, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Travis County between 2006 and 2016, opioid overdoses nearly doubled, contributing to the deaths of 590 people, health data show.
“America does have a fire when it comes to opioid crises,” Doggett said Wednesday. “What we’re getting this week and next, instead of experienced professional firefighters with a plan to put out that wildfire, we’re being offered a collection of garden hoses. It won’t get the job done.”