Over 2 million people in the United States are involved in the misuse of opioids. More than 130 people die a day from overdosing.

This is not only an extremely pressing issue because of the mortality rate, but it affects our social and economic welfare as well. The costs of healthcare, loss of productivity, addiction treatment and criminal justice involvement costs the U.S. $78.5 billion a year.

Opioid use is more common in jails/prisons than it is in the general population, but officials don’t do enough to solve the issue. Untreated abusers return to the general population still with an addiction and a lower tolerance, which means a higher chance of overdose.

Three medications currently exist to treat opioid addiction, yet of 3,000 jails nationwide, only 220 of them supply the medications.

I am asking for signatures for my petition in favor of federal regulation of opioid abuse treatment. Specifically, I would like to work with the National Institute of Health toward a law requiring all prisons/jails to screen inmates for addictions, supply the medications and remain up to date on technology and advancements regarding the epidemic.

Please sign the petition at chng.it/HZZrQfsKzt.

Alexis Cooper