Sullivan Thanks Gov. Walker for Opioid Disaster Declaration
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) today thanked Alaska Governor Bill Walker and Alaska Health and Social Services Commissioner Val Davidson for declaring a state emergency yesterday in response to the epidemic of opioid addiction in the state.
“I want to thank Governor Walker and Commissioner Davidson for their state disaster declaration, which will put significant resources forward to combat the opioid epidemic harming too many families and communities across Alaska,” said Senator Sullivan. “All stakeholders – federal, state, local – must work together to advance efforts for prevention, emergency response, and treatment as well as reduce the stigma attached to addiction. I look forward to working with the Overdose Response Program and the many other programs and associations throughout the state combatting addiction of any kind.”
In October of 2015, eight Alaska women who had struggled with addiction visited with Senator Sullivan in his Washington, DC office, and served as the inspiration for the Alaska Wellness Summit: Conquering the Opioid Crisis. Last August, Senator Sullivan hosted the Summit, which featured the U.S. Surgeon General and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary. Since then, the U.S. Senate, with the support of Senator Sullivan, has passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), and the 21st Century Cures Act–which included $1 billion over two years for states to combat the opioid crisis. Senator Sullivan has also had multiple meetings with former and incoming high ranking officials within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and remains dedicated to stymieing the crisis through education, reduction of stigma, support for programs like Project HOPE, and expansion of accessibility to treatment.