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The termination of opioid obituaries requires a united front



I heard a shocking statistic in the news recently: More Americans died in 2016 of opioid causes than the total number of American lives lost throughout the Vietnam War. Think about it: more people will die of opioids in a year than a 20-year war.

The opioid epidemic is blind to race, gender, socioeconomic background and geographic location. One thing is clear: we have to work together to combat this with everything we have.

Public opinion about America's opioid crisis is strongly influenced by personal experiences. As a former law enforcement officer, I have seen first-hand what a terrible impact this crisis has on our families, our youth and our community. During my term in office, I have sent countless obituaries, some to unsuspecting parents who have never known that their child is struggling with addiction.

I will never forget the mothers in my arms when I told them that their child had died of a child overdose. It was one of the hardest things I had to do as a police officer.

I realize that there is no easy solution to this crisis. But I also know that many of my friends, family and neighbors know someone who has had to deal with the effects of this epidemic. According to the ministry of health of Minnesota, 1

09 people died alone in the VIII congressional district

. We can not blame anyone, an agency, or a corporation, and we can not drive our way out of this problem. We need to ensure that our communities have the resources they need to help the opioid addicts become functioning members of our society. Regardless of the addiction to which they are exposed, each individual can contribute to the communities that surround him. We can not wait for our law enforcement agencies to find opioid addicts who start treating their problems. We have to be proactive.

I welcome the President for taking action, explaining that this is a national health crisis, and I also welcome the members of Congress for making this a priority by establishing a real legislation to address this issue. The latest omnibus budget includes $ 4 billion to tackle the crisis. As we speak, other legislation is being introduced that takes a close look at how doctors prescribe these medicines in whatever dosage.

However, more needs to be done. A mother does not care if the policeman who issues a death notice is a Republican or a Democrat. The deaths are not partisan, and the legislation to solve this problem should not be.

We are making progress, but I will not stop until this crisis is eradicated. As your congressman, I assure you that I will work across the aisle and do everything in my power to get us there. Nothing is more important than keeping our young people alive.

Pete Stauber is a commissioner for St. Louis County and Republican candidate for Congress in the Eighth District of Minnesota.

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