IN Focus: State health commissioner testifies in DC

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WASHINGTON D.C. (Feb. 28, 2016) - Indiana's state health commissioner took a trip to Capitol Hill last week to testify before a Congressional panel discussing the problem of opioid abuse.

"Down in Scott County, you hear stories about grandparents injecting drugs with grandchildren, so the face of opioid abuse is changing, and we need to recognize that," said health commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams in an interview for this week's edition of IN Focus.

"It has cut across every age group and in many cases, for seniors, they will be on a pain prescription medication and look up all of a sudden and find that they're hooked on it," said Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), who invited Adams to testify in front of the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

In a written statement, Adams said:

“I’m honored to testify before the Senate Select Committee on Aging about the effects of the opioid epidemic on our nation’s senior citizens. Every age group has been affected by this epidemic, but our seniors, including my own parents, are especially vulnerable, and I’m glad to join Senator Donnelly and the committee in discussing ways to help protect this population.”

Donnelly added this statement:

“I am pleased that Dr. Adams will be coming before the Senate Special Committee on Aging to discuss opioid abuse, an issue that devastates families across the country, including our seniors. Dr. Adams has played an important role in Indiana’s response to the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemics and has been an outstanding partner as we’ve worked together to address this public health crisis. Prescription drug abuse and substance abuse among seniors is a growing concern, and I look forward to Wednesday’s hearing with Dr. Adams.”

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