Randall Addresses Congress on Opioids

Loudoun County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) was on Capitol Hill Monday to address Congress on the opioid epidemic and what local health departments are doing.

Randall was speaking at a Congressional briefing also in her role as a member of the National Association of Counties, and chairwoman of Virginia’s Board of Corrections.

She said it’s important the conversation around the opioid epidemic not happen “in a vacuum, while missing the opportunity to have a needed, national discussion on the clinical condition of substance dependence.”

“Twenty-five years ago, the drug that was ravaging urban America was cocaine in the ‘free base form,’ otherwise known as crack cocaine. Fifteen years ago, it was PCP in liquid form, often called ‘water,’ and five years ago, it was methamphetamine, and today, it’s opioids,” Randall said. “No matter the substance or the community most impacted by that substance we need a national response to the disease of substance dependence.”

She also relayed the impact of opioids on Loudoun County, and what the county is doing—including issuing Narcan to first responders, training people to recognize the symptoms of an overdose, and being “engaged in ongoing community conversations about substance use.”

“Until we remove the stigma from this clinical condition people who are using opioids and other substances will be less likely to seek assistance or help and more likely to die,” Randall said. She added that the country will not be able to arrest or incarcerate its way out of the problem.

According to the National Association of County and City Health Officials, overdoses caused by opioids—both prescription and illicit—are responsible for the deaths of 91 Americans every day. The event, sponsored by the National Association of County and City Health Officials, the National Association of Counties, and the United States Conference of Mayors, was meant to highlight the importance of federal, state, and local partnerships to combat the epidemic.

4 thoughts on “Randall Addresses Congress on Opioids

  • 2017-11-15 at 11:04 am

    The government which Randall is part of has had a war on drugs almost my entire lifetime. Little good has come at tremendous cost, that you can take to the bank. Calling a voluntary choice such as popping pills a disease is the kind of government speak that precludes the next sentence which will be we need more money. Bad choices have consequence’s and we in Loudoun made one by electing Randall.

    • 2017-11-15 at 2:10 pm

      You mean the war on drugs started by Nixon and expanded by Reagan? Doctors today to prescribing pain pills at an alarming rate. It doesn’t help that you have drug companies pushing them to do so. “Normal” people are getting hooked on them easily and making the crisis worse. Pretty sure if we legalized marijuana, there would be a lot less people taking opioids. Randall has been a blessing to Loudoun.

  • 2017-11-15 at 8:34 pm

    The problem is, when you have unqualified people like Chair Randall posturing in an area she clearly does not understand, it only makes it that much harder to address the problem. Her comments are nothing more than the same babble speak we have heard for forty years. It is of interest, that when Chair Randall is speaking during Board of Supervisor meetings, she has a different tone. During such meetings here in Loudoun County, she accuses the sheriff’s department of lying about drug cases, and argues that opioids are not the real problem; instead she recklessly argues that the problems are other kinds of substances, and downplays the opioids abuse crisis. So, when on the grand stage, she postures, and when before the citizens of Loudoun County, she becomes sarcastic and counterproductive, Chair Randall is doing far more harm than good.

  • 2017-11-16 at 8:54 am

    If being a addict entitles you to free Naloxone
    why don’t cancer patients get free chemo. Randall?

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