Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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Addressing Substance Abuse


Indiana is one of four states where the drug overdose mortality rate has quadrupled since 1999. It is estimated that more than 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Over the past 10 years, more than 2,000 Hoosiers have died from overdoses of opioids, including fentanyl, heroin, hydrocodone, methadone and morphine. This is a crisis for Indiana and for our nation, and addressing it is a priority for me in Congress.

The reality is that although Americans make up just five percent of the world’s population, 80 percent of the global opioid supply is consumed right here in the United States. Improper prescribing practices are one of the root causes of this national epidemic. I’ve seen the impact of overprescription of legal, prescription drugs throughout my career as a Deputy Mayor, U.S. Attorney, and member of Congress. I’ve heard from Hoosier medical schools and professionals that more training and consistent guidelines are needed when it comes to pain management and prescribing practices of these sometimes necessary and incredibly powerful prescription drugs. It’s why I introduced H.R. 4641, which established a task-force of providers, pain management specialists, patient advocates, people in recovery and the relevant federal agencies to review, modify and update best practices for pain management and guidelines for prescribers of pain medication that were released by the Centers for Disease Control in 2016.

This legislation became law in 2016 as one piece of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). CARA strives to curb prescription opioid abuse and heroin use through enhanced prevention, treatment, recovery, education and law enforcement efforts. I will continue to work in Congress to offer common sense solutions to address this crisis that has devastated so many Hoosier families and communities. In addition, I will continue to work with President Trump and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, head of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, to address heroin and opioid abuse in this country.

To read a blog post I wrote for the American Legislative Exchange Council on how government at every level is working together to address heroin and opioid abuse, click here.

To watch a statement I made about why legislation like H.R. 4641 and CARA are so important, click here.

To watch my statement in the Health Subcommittee about the heroin and opioid epidemic in Indiana and our country, click here

To learn more about work done to combat the opioid and heroin crisis, visit Energy and Commerce's website here

More on Addressing Substance Abuse

Feb 27, 2019 In The News

The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday approved bipartisan legislation U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) authored to turn the Poison Control Network into part of the nation’s preparedness and response to the opioid crisis.

Feb 26, 2019 In The News

The House on Monday passed the bipartisan Poison Center Network Enhancement Act to give the network more leeway to help with the opioid crisis. The bill funds the poison control network phone number and would also give people the ability to text the network. “The bill is a critical piece of the puzzle because it allows the national network of poison control centers to help people who are struggling with addiction by offering free, confidential and expert medical advice at all hours, every day of the year,” Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., said in a statement.

Feb 25, 2019 News Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 501, the Poison Center Network Enhancement Act of 2019, legislation authored by Congress Members Susan W. Brooks (R-IN), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Diana DeGette (D-CO), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) that will assist with potential poison exposures and help combat the national opioid epidemic.

Jan 23, 2019 News Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) was selected to continue her involvement in three Energy and Commerce subcommittees: Subcommittee on Health, Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

Brooks provided the following statement:

Jan 23, 2019 In The News

U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) continues to fight the nation’s opioid crisis and on Jan. 11 introduced bipartisan legislation that would improve the national Poison Center Network.

“It is important we reauthorize the national network of poison control centers because they save lives by offering free, confidential, and expert medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Rep. Brooks said on Jan. 14.

Jan 14, 2019 News Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Congress Members Susan Brooks (R-IN), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Diana DeGette (D-CO), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) introduced H.R. 501, the Poison Center Network Enhancement Act of 2019, to assist with potential poison exposures and help combat the national opioid epidemic.

Oct 24, 2018 News Releases

CARMEL, INToday, the President signed into law H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, a bipartisan legislative package which will provide relief to Hoosiers and Americans across the country who are suffering because of the heroin and opioid crisis. As a member of the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where the package originated, Congresswoman Susan W.

Oct 15, 2018 In The News

The Legal Services Corporation’s Opioid Task Force is coming to Indianapolis for its first field hearing, which will include an examination of Indiana’s statewide response to the opioid crisis.

Oct 10, 2018 In The News

Young Republicans of Indiana organized a prescription drug take-back event Oct. 3. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Zionsville Police Dept. were stationed in the parking lot at Jennings Field next to Zionsville Community High School, accepting unused pharmaceutical drugs from persons age 18 and over. The goal is to encourage members of the community to clean out their medicine cabinets and remove unused prescriptions, making the drugs less accessible to the general public. The officers properly dispose of the medication.

Oct 6, 2018 News Releases

CARMEL, IN – The U.S. Department of Justice this week announced almost $320 million in grants to further help states and territories address the heroin and opioid abuse crisis. These grants will be administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). Indiana will receive $9 million. As a Health Subcommittee member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) provided the following statement: