At a forum with Former President Bill Clinton, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, and other experts, Klobuchar discussed her work to provide consumers with safe, responsible ways to dispose of unused prescription medication
Klobuchar also underscored drug courts’ success in driving down crime rates and treating substance-abusing offenders in a cost-effective way
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) highlighted successful tools in the fight against prescription drug abuse at a forum hosted by the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Health Matters Initiative. At a forum with Former President Bill Clinton, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, former Representative Patrick Kennedy and other experts, Klobuchar discussed her work to provide consumers with safe and responsible ways to dispose of unused prescription medication. Klobuchar also underscored drug courts’ success in driving down crime rates and treating substance-abusing offenders in a cost-effective way.
With as many as four out of five heroin users having previously abused prescription drugs, Klobuchar also discussed efforts to fight the growing heroin epidemic. Last month, Klobuchar led a delegation to Mexico to meet with Mexican officials and representatives from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and discuss ways to combat the drug.
“Prescription drug abuse in this country has reached crisis levels and is leading to a spike in heroin abuse as well,” Klobuchar said. “I’m glad the Clinton Foundation is actively seeking solutions, and I will continue my work in the Senate to make sure we have the tools we need to combat this deadly trend.”
In the last 4 years, over 4 million pounds of prescription drugs have been collected across the country during designated prescription drug take-back days. Klobuchar passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act, which takes these efforts to the next level by providing consumers with more safe and responsible ways to dispose of unused prescription medications and controlled substances. The law expands options for people to dispose of prescription medications and promotes the development and expansion of prescription drug take-back programs. Klobuchar recently urged the DEA to issue the Final Rule necessary to implement the legislation.
Klobuchar has also been a strong advocate for drug courts, recently leading a bipartisan letter to the Appropriations Committee calling for strong funding. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in 2011 on drug courts that suggests that such courts save an average of $6,000 per participant and may reduce crime by up to 58%. Research also shows that about 60% of drug court clients complete at least 12 months of treatment, while just 10% of probationers and parolees do so. In 2011, Klobuchar received the “All Rise Leadership Award” from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals for her continued support of drug courts. She also received the Outstanding Member of the Senate award from the National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition.