A big thank you to Addiction Policy Forum (non profit organization) ( from a parent advocate who lost a child to overdose) for organizing APF Family Day event in Washington, D.C. #APFFamilyDay.
This was my 3rd year attending Addiction Policy Forum’s event in D.C. Speaking with Congress members (and last year and testifying at a congressional hearing) was eye opening.
April 25, 2018- I joined other families and advocated for Federal Legislation: Opioid Crisis Response Act( OCRA) of 2018,Prevent Overdoses while in ER ( POWER), Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers (CORC) Act of 2018
We asked our senators to co-sponsor the Opioid Crisis Response Act (OCRA) of 2018. This legislation would enhance research and discovery efforts, support first responders, improve the efficiency of state grants, encourage the use of recovery supports, develop integrated care models to address treatment gaps, and expand the use of telemedicine.
Second, we ask our elected officials to co-sponsor the Preventing Overdoses While in Emergency Rooms (POWER) Act of 2018, which is in both chambers. This bill would provide emergency departments with the resources and tools needed to develop evidence-based protocols for screening overdose patients, initiate treatment with FDA-approved medications in the hospital, and provide rapid referrals to evidence-based treatment before a patient is discharged. It would also help hospitals develop and implement best practices for care coordination and integrated care models for long-term treatment and recovery services.
Third, we ask our elected officials to co-sponsor the Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers (CORC) Act of 2018. This legislation would provide resources to operate comprehensive treatment and recovery centers, which will provide the full spectrum of evidence-based treatment services including intake evaluations and regular assessments, all FDA-approved treatments for SUDs, detoxification, counseling, residential rehabilitation, recovery support services, pharmacy and toxicology services, and interoperable electronic health information systems.
It is my prayer that my voice was heard the past 3 years on Capitol Hill and it made an impact on supporting federal legislation to aid those affected by Substance Use Disorders.
*** After nine years of advocacy, my direction of The Jennifer Act is changing this year. I will focus more on the children affected by addiction and ways to improve their lives. -In memory of my daughter- Jennifer Reynolds who lost her life tragically to an accidental prescription drug overdose and her son, Trey whose life has been directly impacted ( and is alienated from his maternal family).
We have not seen or spoken to our precious grandson, Trey since his mother passed away, Jan.15, 2009. Trey will be turning 17 years old- June 11th. I wait for his phone call and pray he will contact me one day soon. — Sharon Blair –Founder of The Jennifer Act.
** The first picture is Senator Todd Young with Indiana Advocates at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. (I am standing next to Senator Young in the red jacket).
** The picture below is Jennifer’s son, Trey with his mother (Jennifer) and me, his grandmother (Sharon Blair).