Klobuchar highlights critical tools in fight against substance abuse

Washington, D.C. – At a bipartisan forum on women and addiction today (Tuesday, July 22), U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) highlighted important tools in the fight against substance abuse in Minnesota and across the country.

With roughly 6 million women in the U.S. dependent on alcohol and 2.6 million having substance abuse issues, Klobuchar spoke about the importance of addressing addiction by focusing on treatment options that work for women and supporting proven tools like drug courts.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar also discussed bipartisan legislation she passed into law that would expand drug take back programs, providing women and families with more safe and responsible ways to dispose of unused prescription drugs to help prevent abuse.

Klobuchar co-hosted the forum with Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

“Substance abuse is wreaking havoc on families and communities all across the country, and it’s a growing problem among women,” Klobuchar said. “With more and more women suffering from addiction, we need to focus on developing treatment options that work for women and supporting proven tools in the fight against addiction so that we can reverse this devastating trend.”

Klobuchar has been a leader in the fight against addiction and substance abuse. She recently urged the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to issue the Final Rule necessary to implement her bipartisan legislation that she passed to provide consumers with safe and responsible ways to dispose of unused prescription medications.

In the last 4 years, over 4 million pounds of prescription drugs have been collected across the country during designated prescription drug take-back days.

Klobuchar’s Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 takes these efforts to the next level by providing consumers with more safe and responsible ways to dispose of unused prescription medications and controlled substances. The law expands options for individuals as well as long-term care facilities, and promotes the development and expansion of prescription drug take-back programs. While the bill was signed into law in 2010, consumers cannot take advantage of these additional options for safe disposal until the DEA issues the Final Rule.

As Hennepin County Attorney, Klobuchar made it a priority to get dangerous drugs off the streets, working with law enforcement to crackdown on the manufacturing, trafficking, and selling of illegal drugs. In 2011, Klobuchar received the “All Rise Leadership Award” from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals for her continued support of drug courts. More recently, she led a bipartisan letter to the Appropriations Committee advocating for more funding for drug courts.

Studies show that drug courts save an average of $6,000 per participant, and a 2011 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) indicates that drug courts reduce crime by up to 58 percent.

 

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