On Tuesday, October 1, Phoenix House sponsored the “Fed Up!” Rally for a Federal Response to the Opioid Epidemic. Over 500 people attended the rally, which took place in Washington, D.C. near the Capitol, and called for “immediate action from our federal agencies…to prevent new cases of opioid addiction, to prevent more overdose deaths, and to ensure access to effective treatment for millions who have become addicted.”
Phoenix House Mid-Atlantic staff attended the Fed Up! Rally, as well as the reception on Monday September 30 at the Phoenix Park Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. where over 200 people came out to show support for the event.
More than 125,000 people have died from overdosing on painkillers in the past 10 years; 45 people will die today, said Andrew Kolodny, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Phoenix House and President of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP). “Each year, we set a new record for the number of people dying from painkiller overdoses,” Kolodny said. “This is a public health emergency. Yet the response from the federal government has been tragically ineffective.”
Members of Congress from Kentucky, New York, and West Virginia–as well as physicians and leaders of various recovery support organizations throughout the country–spoke at the rally to demonstrate their support for the group’s cause. The most important people in attendance, however, were the many family and friends who had lost loved ones to what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called the worst drug epidemic in United States history. Their grief and loss have driven their passion to make a difference and advocate for change to the response from some federal agencies that, to date has been slow and tragically ineffective.
FED UP! Rally participants called on the Food and Drug Administration and lawmakers to ensure that opioids and other controlled medications are prescribed more cautiously. The rally ended with participants marching to the Department of Health and Human Services building that is the federal entity in charge of the FDA.
Every day, Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic helps hundreds of people who are suffering from addiction in 17 programs in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. Find out more about our programs and services, or call us today at: 1 888 671 9392.