Fitzpatrick, Herrera Beutler cosponsor bipartisan National Recovery Month resolution

U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) joined their fellow co-chairs of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force to introduce a resolution honoring National Recovery Month.

“Addiction doesn’t discriminate by party, geography, or the color of your skin. It has ravaged every community across America, and it’s time we come together as a nation to end this addiction epidemic once and for all,” said Reps. Fitzpatrick and Herrera Beutler in a joint statement released with their fellow task force co-chairs.

The congressmen on Aug. 31 signed on as original cosponsors of House Resolution (H.Res.) 617, which is sponsored by U.S. Rep. David Trone (D-MD), also a task force co-chair, and original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH), the fourth task force co-chair. The resolution has 16 other original cosponsors who also serve on the task force, including U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH). 

If enacted, H.Res. 617 would support the designation of September 2021 as National Recovery Month.

Reps. Fitzpatrick, Herrera Beutler, Trone, and Kuster released their joint statement on Sept. 1 saying they “are coming together to honor and celebrate the 21 million Americans who are in recovery across the nation, as well as those who currently have substance use disorder and are seeking treatment services.” 

Their data on Americans in recovery comes from the Addiction Center, an informational web guide for those who are struggling with substance use disorders and co-occurring behavioral and mental health disorders that is owned and operated by Recovery Worldwide LLC, a national informational marketing umbrella for several addiction recovery-related properties.

“This year has proven one of the most difficult for those with substance use disorder and those in recovery,” the members said in their statement. “With a record-breaking 93,000 overdose deaths in 2020, it’s clear that we need more resources and support to address the addiction epidemic and fight the stigma associated with this devastating disease.”

The lawmakers also pointed out that because “there is no vaccine for the addiction epidemic,” they wanted to increase their efforts to bring awareness to the crisis. In addition to introducing the resolution, such efforts will include hosting a day of action, “when we will encourage Members of Congress to wear purple and fight the stigma associated with addiction,” they said.