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The White House
For Immediate Release

Statement from White House Drug Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske on the Passage of Opiate Related Legislation in Wisconsin

(Washington, D.C.) -- Today, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy issued the following statement regarding the passage of legislation in Wisconsin designed to reduce the opiate use and its consequences:

“Drug overdoses are preventable, and it when it comes to saving lives, naloxone is an extremely valuable tool. I commend Representative Nygren and other elected officials in Wisconsin for supporting legislation that will protect public health and safety. Equipping law enforcement and other emergency responders with this overdose-reversal drug will save lives and also help guide many more people suffering from substance use disorders into treatment and long-term recovery.  Increasing access to naloxone goes hand in hand with other evidence-based ways to reduce the threat of heroin and prescription drug abuse in our communities, such as supporting initiatives that promote the disposal of expired or unneeded prescription drugs languishing in medicine cabinets, expanding access to drug prevention and treatment programs, and improving state-based prescription drug monitoring programs.”

In April, the Obama Administration released a science-based drug policy that addresses the national drug challenge as a public health issue, not just a criminal justice issue. The 2013 National Drug Control Strategy is built upon the latest scientific research demonstrating that addiction is a chronic disease of the brain that can be successfully prevented and treated, and from which one can recover. The Strategy directs Federal agencies to expand community-based efforts to prevent drug use before it begins, empower healthcare workers to intervene early at the first signs of a substance use disorder, expand access to treatment for those who need it, support the millions of Americans in recovery, and expand “smart on crime” approaches to drug enforcement.

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