Government

Blum to host community discussion on opioids

Monday conference will be in Dubuque

U.S. Congressman Rod Blum speaks to a class at Xavier High School in northwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Blum also met with senior Ryer Barnes who was accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, through the nomination of Blum. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
U.S. Congressman Rod Blum speaks to a class at Xavier High School in northwest Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Blum also met with senior Ryer Barnes who was accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, through the nomination of Blum. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Congressional legislation aimed at addressing the opioid drug crisis will be the focus of a Monday conference in Dubuque sponsored by U.S. Rep. Rod Blum.

Blum, a Dubuque Republican, who has joined with Democratic and Republican colleagues in recent weeks to pass 60 opioid-related bills, is hosting the conference to get more input on finding solutions to opioid abuse.

“In addition to the millions of Americans dealing with an ongoing opioid addiction, there were 314 deaths in the state of Iowa caused by opioid overdose in 2016,” Blum said.

Although Congress has passed legislation, “there is more that we can do,” he said.

The Opioid Drug Conference will run from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the NICC Town Clock Business Center, 700 Main St., Dubuque.

Blum said his goal is to “identify potential solutions and discuss the issue on a community level.”

The opioid bills Blum supported focus on encouraging non-addictive alternatives for treating pain, improving data to help at-risk patients, addressing the problem of overprescribing and enhancing the monitoring of prescription drugs.

The Monday summit will feature Jeffery Stamm, executive director of the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, a former DEA Agent and author of “On Dope,” and a panel, including health care workers and law enforcement.

To RSVP for the summit, visit blum.house.gov/ConferenceRSVP.

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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