The heroin and opioid epidemic continues to ravage Virginia and our nation, as the number of deaths caused by drug overdoses have skyrocketed. I know that, in the face of this crisis, inaction is inexcusable.

As a State Senator, I served on the Governor’s Task Force on Prescription Drug and Heroin Abuse, and worked to change how doctors prescribe opioids, as well as to improve access to treatment for addiction and overdoses. I authored and passed bills to improve Virginia’s prescription monitoring program, helped get the lifesaving overdose-reversal drug Narcan into the hands of more people, and allowed Child Protective Services to help substance-exposed newborns and their mothers gain access to more resources to get and stay clean. I also supported and advocated for drug courts, Virginia’s Good Samaritan law, and laws that allow police and prosecutors to pursue charges against predatory drug dealers.

In Congress, I continue to work to secure funding for substance use prevention and treatment, to stem the overprescribing of dangerous opioids, and to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable health care, including treatment services.

I’m proud to have introduced and passed into law the bipartisan Expanding Findings for Federal Opioid Research and Treatment (EFFORT) Act that was signed into law by President Trump. This bill expands research on opioid addiction in the hopes of developing a better understanding of the disease of addiction and ultimately improved treatments. I’m also a member of the Bipartisan Addiction & Mental Health Task Force.