Combatting the Opioid Crisis Remains a Priority

August 18, 2018
August 18, 2018

Combatting the Opioid Crisis Remains a Priority

This week, community leaders and health experts joined me for the second in a series of summits regarding the impact of opioids in the 6th Congressional District. The opioid epidemic is now the deadliest drug overdose crisis in the history of the United States.

Just released data indicate some progress with opioid overdoses dropping in January. The actions taken by Congress, the work here in Georgia by AG Chris Carr and other leaders, along with a growing awareness of the dangers, are beginning to yield some progress. Still, we have so much more to do to raise awareness, prevent addiction in the first place, build addiction and mental health treatment capacity, and foster long-term recovery.

Congress has appropriated billions in new dollars and made significant reforms in mental health and addiction treatment. Through these summits, we are gaining a better understanding of the resources that exist here in our community and beginning to identify the gaps. Addiction and mental health experts, nonprofit support groups, local officials, and constituents came together to discuss ways to maximize existing resources and identify areas where more can be done. 

Thank you to each person and panelist who made this summit possible — and thank you to the City of Sandy Springs for hosting us.


Busy Week Across the District

It was a very busy week in the District. Here are just a few highlights from the many activities and events.

Philips Healthcare Town Hall

Philips Healthcare is one of the 6th District’s largest employers, and I was excited to visit to its Alpharetta campus and meet so many employees. The company leadership gave an overview of the company’s mission and focus. They also provided an up-close assessment of the positive effect of Congress ending the medical device tax.

Following the briefing, more than 100 employees participated in a town hall with me. I was able to provide an update on my time in Congress, and importantly, answer their questions and hear about the issues on their minds.

Catching Up with Northeast Cobb Businesses

The members of the Northeast Cobb Business Association are fired up about the growth in our economy. When I asked how things were going with their businesses, the room broke out in applause and cheers. Those lower tax rates are definitely making a difference! After sharing a legislative update, I had a nearly 30 minute Q&A session with these great business and education leaders. I also had the chance to talk with a group of future leaders from Lassiter, Walton, and Pope High Schools. Such impressive young people! And, of course, it is always great to be with my friends Cobb Commissioners JoAnn Birrell and Bob Ott.

Health Services for Our Most Vulnerable

It is an incredible opportunity to get a first-hand look at health care services and facilities in our district, especially those that provide care and support to our community’s most vulnerable. At Skyland Trail, those dealing with mental health challenges can receive the care they need to get on the path to wellness. At Mercy Care in Chamblee, I learned more about the impact of Community Health Centers in our district. In addition to its clinic in Chamblee, Mercy Care has several other health centers throughout metro Atlanta. A wide range of health services are provided on a sliding fee, so that those in need can get the care they need...regardless of their income and ability to pay.

A Morning in Brookhaven

Thanks to the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce for hosting me at its monthly breakfast.  What a great group, and it was so energizing to hear the incredible optimism from the chamber members thanks to lower taxes that are revving up this economy. It was also great to spend time with Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst and Brookhaven Council Members Joe Gebbia, Linley Jones, and Bates Mattison. Brookhaven is a city on the move — thanks to your leadership!

Thank you for taking the time to read this note. To stay current on what's going on in Congress, please follow me on Facebook by clicking here or visiting If you find this update helpful, please take a second to forward it along to a few of your friends and neighbors. 

In addition, because of rules from the House of Representatives, I will not be able to conduct live tele-town halls after August 8th through Election Day. As always, feel free to call (202) 225-4501 or (770) 998-0049 if you need assistance from me or anyone in my office.

Karen C. Handel
Member of Congress