HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Congressman David Trone held an end of the summer barbecue celebration to bring the community in western Maryland together to celebrate the bipartisan success on combating the opioid crisis.
Trone has represented the 6th district since January.
“We put together with our freshman working group now, 11 different bills over 6 billion dollars in funding that is mostly driving through states,” said Congressman Trone.
The funding has been going towards state opioid response grants which are helping Washington County in the battle against the drug epidemic. Trone said, “We are absolutely taking a step in the right direction but we cannot stop for a second. We cannot rest.”
Statistics have shown a decrease in the death rate from drug overdoses, but the congressman said he still plans to work harder than ever to keep these efforts in Washington, D.C. up.
“70,000 people, 68,000 people dead in a year. I don’t call 68,000 people dead a success, that I call work that we have to do,” said Trone.
Maryland’s Attorney General Brian Frosh attended the event and agreed.
“The overdoses have gone down, deaths have gone down, a little bit. I don’t think we’ve reached a point where we can declare a victory,” said Frosh.
The Attorney General’s Office says they have been busting drug traffickers, going after pill mill operators and suing opioid manufacturers. “We’re also going after the distributors who had to know they were delivering way too many prescription drugs to communities, counties, states, etc.”
Their office isn’t the only one doing their part to fight the opioid epidemic. Kevin simmers and his wife opened Brooke’s House back in February after losing their 19-year-old daughter to a drug overdose. “We are just trying to do our part and offer girls a chance,” Simmers said.
They brought in their first round of residents just over two months ago and are doing just everything they hoped to do. Simmers said that Brooke’s House is doing awesome and the success has been overwhelming. In addition to that, Brooks House was selling chocolate which is made by their residents. Those proceeds go directly back towards the operation of Brooke’s House.
Congressman David Trone said the main reason he held this event was to celebrate the work being done in the community by Brooke’s House and other organizations that are reaching out to help people in the county.