Senator Carper Stresses the Need to Combat the Nationwide Fentanyl Crisis

Today at the Senate Finance Committee hearing “Front Lines of the Fentanyl Crisis: Supporting Communities and Combating Addiction through Prevention and Treatment” U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) discussed how Congress can help battle the national fentanyl crisis through prevention and treatment. During the hearing, he underscored the importance of coordination between health care professionals and community leaders to help those suffering from addiction.

Senator Carper called attention to the need to provide resources for prevention efforts, especially for young people:

“Substance use […] begins during adolescence and compromises the well-being, the safety and the development of our young people. When it comes to health care, I have long believed that we’ve got to meet people where they are, and for our youth, that is in schools. During the [period of] time that I was privileged to serve as governor for eight years, before I came [to the Senate], I was proud to put a school nurse in every Delaware public school and a wellness center in every high school in Delaware.”

Senator Carper also emphasized the severity of the fentanyl crisis in light of a recent increase in overdose cases in Delaware: 

“In recent months, not only has our healthcare system in Delaware seen a greater number of patients being treated for suspected overdoses, but there’s also been a significant increase in the severity of the effects of overdoses. This severity is reflected in a greater percentage of overdose patients needing a higher level of care, including intubation and required admission to intensive care units.”

A video of Senator Carper’s questions at today’s hearing can be found here.