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In New Campaign, Opioid Users Directly Pressure Members of Congress to Fund Public Health Solutions

Opioid Network pushes for $45 billion in funding for opioid epidemic


Washington D.C. - On Monday, dozens of opioid users and their allies from across the country traveled Washington to pressure Congress to invest $45 billion in addiction treatment and overdose prevention efforts that will help address the opioid epidemic, targeting members of Congress like Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Paul Ryan who have been in the pocket of pharmaceutical companies.

They also held a press conference to announce the launch of the Opioid Network, a new direct action group that includes activists involved in recent efforts to save Obamacare. Participants in Monday’s events have put their bodies in the line to save Obamacare, and they plan to do the same thing now as part of a national campaign to win $45 billion in federal funding to expand access to opioid treatment and protect Medicaid.

Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, but Congress must step up and deliver the funding for public health solutions that opioid users desperately need.

Participants in Monday’s events on Capitol Hill include organizations and activists from Maryland, Ohio, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Vermont, along with include Doctors Allied for Indian Health as well as VOCAL-NY, which has successfully fought for funding for people living with HIV and AIDS. The Opioid Network is convened and supported by the Center for Popular Democracy.  

The Opioid Network follows the direct action model used by ACT UP, a group formed in the late 1980s in response to government inaction on AIDS. ACT Up succeeded in winning a funding stream of $3 billion from the federal government.



The Center for Popular Democracy promotes equity, opportunity, and a dynamic democracy in partnership with innovative base-building organizations, organizing networks and alliances, and progressive unions across the country. CPD builds the strength and capacity of democratic organizations to envision and advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial justice agenda.


Media Contact:
Anita Jain. 347-636-9761. ajain@populardemocracy.org