Media Announcement: Congressman and Frontline Health Care Workers to Discuss What is Needed to End Opioid Crisis

Last month, President Trump said the country’s opioid crisis “is a national emergency.” He went on to say, “We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money” to counter opioid addiction. But, what has happened? Is money being appropriated? What is needed? What would the proposed Graham-Cassidy bill do to federal programs aimed at stopping addiction?

On Monday, Sept. 25, at 2 p.m. (NOTE: new time) in the National Press Club’s Bloomberg Room, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), Co-Chair of the House’s Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus, will be joined by three frontline healthcare workers to discuss the opioid crisis and the lack of parity between mental health and physical healthcare. They will call for action by Congress and the Trump Administration and will offer their reaction to the Senate Finance Committee hearing on the Graham-Cassidy bill earlier in the day.

Speaking at the Headliners Newsmaker news conference:

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) has represented Ohio’s 13th Congressional District since 2003. In addition to his leadership on the House’s Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus, the Congressman serves as the Co-Chairman of the Military Mental Health Caucus.

Jackie Schalit, a marriage and family therapist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, Calif., works with children whose parents have had an addiction, many of whom are incarcerated. Some of her patients are babies born addicted to opioids.

Kenneth Rogers PsyD., a licensed psychologist with Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, provides individual psychotherapy, group therapy and psychological testing to adult populations. Rogers also is a vice president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).

Cuyler Costanzo, a clinical coordinator with the addiction and recovery center Oriana House in Akron, Ohio, oversees a driver intervention program, a multiple offender program and a clinic in Marietta, Ohio.

The Trump Administration’s 2018 budget proposes substantial cuts to the Administration for Children and Families, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Medicaid is the country’s largest payer for addiction services — and covers a significant portion of opioid addiction medication.

In a just released study, Princeton economist Alan Krueger documents that opioids are more than a health threat. Between 1999 and 2015, roughly 20 percent of the drop in men’s workforce participation and 25 percent of women’s were due to painkiller drug use.

The National Press Club is located on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building at 529 14th St., NW, Washington, D.C. This Headliners Newsmaker event is open to credentialed media and Press Club members free of charge, with advance registration required. Please click here to register.

Contact: Jamie Horwitz,, 202-549-4921.

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