Today, Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives to urge all his colleagues to support H.R. 2379, the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act of 2021, legislation that provides states and localities the funding they depend on to fight the opioid crisis. The House voted to pass the bill unanimously.

The Congressman’s remarks, as delivered, are below:

Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Across the country, the opioid epidemic is devastating families and communities.

In Rhode Island, the COVID-19 pandemic is only worsening this crisis. In 2020 alone, accidental overdose deaths in Rhode Island increased by 25 percent, with most involving opioids. 

State Opioid Response Funding has been critical to combatting to this deadly epidemic and helped provide Rhode Islanders with the resources we need to combat drug abuse, prevent overdoses, and save lives.

The majority of Rhode Islanders who lost their lives to an opioid overdose in recent years had a history of substance abuse without treatment and we need resources to intervene now. 

State Opioid Response Funding has helped provide the support and treatment people suffering addiction need so desperately.

It means access to the naloxone and training on how to use it. It means paths to recovery. And it means saving lives. 

I thank Representative Trone for introducing H.R. 2379, the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act of 2021 to support states in their fight against this opioid epidemic.  

I urge my colleagues to support this critical legislation and save lives.

And with that, I yield back, Madam Speaker.

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