August 21, 2015

Kaine Discusses Prescription Drug Abuse In Radford & Roanoke To Conclude Five-Day Tour Of Virginia

WASHINGTON, D.C.  - Concluding his five-day swing through Virginia today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine participated in a roundtable discussion in Radford with law enforcement and Community Services Board members on the prescription drug abuse epidemic and how it impacts families and employers across Virginia. 

"Prescription opioid abuse is a statewide problem and I hear about it wherever I go. It is a big public health challenge for the nation,” Kaine said. “The law enforcement and mental health professionals here in Southwest Virginia are on the front lines of this issue every day and they had a lot of wisdom to offer me. I heard about some of the impressive work being done in the drug courts and by the community service boards in the area. On the federal level, we need to focus on treatment, prevention and educational strategies that can help people overcome their addiction. I will continue to fight for the resources our local officials need to curb substance abuse in our communities.” 

Kaine also toured the Virginia Tech-Carilion Research Institute (VCTRI) in Roanoke to learn about the institute’s internationally acclaimed neurological and addiction research. In its first five years, VCTRI has created more than 200 jobs and generated an economic impact of nearly $250 million. Kaine heard directly from those combatting the epidemic in Virginia, brainstorming ways to address the drug abuse crisis and how federal policy can play a role in lowering the number of overdose deaths.

Kaine has worked at the federal level to combat opioid abuse and introduced bipartisan legislation to protect first responders, health professionals and family members who are educated in administering an opioid overdose prevention drug in an emergency situation. He is also a cosponsor of legislation that aims to curb prescription drug abuse among veterans and establish a set of recommendations for preventing and reducing opioid abuse.