La Salle News Tribune: Republicans, Democrats in Congress work together on opioid problem, disagreeing on tax cuts

While the spotlight Friday focused on the Supreme Court confirmation process and controversy, there was other business going on in the capitol — including key legislation on the opioid crisis and income taxes.

The U.S. Senate was heading toward a vote on making tax cuts permanent.

On heroin and opioids: And the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted in favor of a compromise bill, H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction and it shows our voices are being heard.”

That was the word from Luke Tomsha, founder of La Salle-based Perfectly Flawed Foundation, which is helping the children of addicts and has been lobbying to help rather than punish people who get addicted to heroin and opioids.

This bipartisan legislation is designed to help combat the opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, preventing addiction, fighting dangerous synthetic opiates like fentanyl, and further protecting communities affected by the opioid crisis.

“There have been so many young grassroots organizations, like Perfectly Flawed,” said Tomsha, “that have been started by loved ones and passionate family members ready to make change however they lack the infrastructure, knowledge or wherewithal to make the change they are capable of. I am curious to see how the resources trickle down.

“A majority of these groups are operating out of sheer love and they need support. Often times they are left out of the conversation,” Tomsha continued. “Time will tell. These are the groups that are capable of making real change and they need to be engaged.

“Ultimately, I won’t be satisfied until our leaders declare an end to the war on drugs. We need to focusing on demand and the underlying issues of why so many are choosing drugs We have to stop treating this punitively and making problems worse.

“We need help, not handcuffs.”

Congress six months ago approved record funding to combat the opioid crisis, and U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, (R-Channahon) said this year he introduced legislation “urging innovation in our treatments for pain.”



The full article can be found on the La Salle News Tribune website here.