WASHINGTON, DC – This week is National Opioid Crisis Awareness Week, a time to recommit to an all-hands-on-deck approach to attack this scourge on all fronts. Throughout the week, we are telling the personal stories from the opioid crisis, stories we heard last year during a roundtable discussion with families and patients who have felt the devastation of the crisis next door.
Lisa Daniels, Jamie’s mother, speaks before the committee alongside photo of Jamie. Click here or on the image above for Jamie’s story
Jamie’s parents, Ken and Lisa Daniels, described Jamie “as a young child, just full of life, happy” and “very bright.” After completing high school, Jamie went to college where his opioid addiction began.
“You could see the difference. But before long his brain told him he wanted more opioids,” said Ken.
Lisa watched her son try to overcome addiction to opioids “several times.” Through the course of his treatment, Jamie was referred to a sober living home in Florida, where Lisa shared that “the doctor they sent him to, a self-described addiction specialist, put Jamie on new medication for his anxiety.” Four days later, Jamie fatally overdosed on heroin laced with fentanyl.
“In other words, Jamie was setup to fail,” said Lisa.
Lisa called for real action to prevent similar tragedies from devastating other families.
“We have to work this out and we have to do it immediately,” said Lisa. “We have to stop talking and start acting.”
Under then-Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), the Energy and Commerce Committee opened an investigation into the practice of patient brokering. The investigation identified a lack of oversight and accountability of various treatment centers, and examined their advertising and marketing practices. There are reports of “patient brokers” making up to $5,000 to recruit patients for addiction treatment.
Earlier this year, Energy and Commerce Republicans called for the continuation of the committee’s investigative work to combat the opioid crisis. We must leave no stone unturned as we continue to go after those responsible for the epidemic, including the nefarious practice of patient brokering.
Read about the investigations here.