03.17.14

Closing Remarks Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee Field Hearing On “Community Solutions to Breaking the Cycle of Heroin and Opioid Addiction” Rutland, Vermont

At this time, I would like to enter into the record, testimony and statements the Committee has received in connection with this hearing.  These include statements from Joseph Krause, the chairman of Rutland’s Project VISION, from law enforcement officers, EMTs, judges, education providers, and concerned Vermonters. There are many here in this room who I know hoped to testify today, and many around Vermont who have contacted my office wanting to be part of this hearing.  The best stories are those told by people who have lived them, and that is why I invite anyone interested to submit testimony for the official hearing record.  The email address to do so is:  Opioid underscore Hearing at judiciary hyphen D E M dot senate dot gov (Opioid_Hearing@judiciary-dem.senate.gov).  Submissions will be accepted until Friday, March 21.  Cards at the back of the room are available with this information, and I urge everyone to take one.

I want to thank the witnesses for appearing today at this important hearing, and I want to thank everyone here today for being a part of this discussion.  What we are facing in Vermont is not unique to our state.  How our communities, like Rutland, are coming together to counter it, is unique – and it is having an important impact.  Hearings like this allow us to take these success stories to Washington, where we are working on the federal level to help in the fight against addiction.  But like Chief Baker has said, at its heart, this is a community problem that needs a community solution.  Vermont can address addiction and treatment, but, perhaps even more importantly, Vermonters can get ahead of this problem with prevention and education.

Thank you.  The Committee is adjourned.

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