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COLUMN — Congress goes purple for addiction awareness

September is National Recovery Month, when we bring awareness to the addiction epidemic and elevate the voices of those it affects.

I became a founding member of the Freshman Working Group on Addiction to help solve this crisis. I’m proud to join Rep. David Trone and my colleagues on the Freshman Working Group in Addiction as we work to address this epidemic. On Wednesday, Sept. 16, we will hold the second Congress Goes Purple Day of Action as part of our efforts to address opioid addiction in our communities. 

The Congress Goes Purple Initiative is an important effort in helping bring awareness to this important effort and helping those dealing with opioid addiction issues. 

One in seven individuals experience addiction at some point throughout their lifespan, and one in two know someone impacted by addiction. But many who experience addiction don’t get treatment and seek recovery. More than 20.2 million and 30.8 million Americans identify as someone in recovery from a drug/alcohol use problem and mental health issue, respectively.

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges to those in recovery, caused in part by social isolation, the inability to meet in person for peer support groups and difficulty receiving in-person treatment. I am committed to working to find solutions on this important issue.

Yesterday, a new report from the select committee showed the Paycheck Protection Program saved 51 million American jobs. Thanks to actions taken by House Republicans, millions of American businesses kept their doors open and their employees on the payroll. This program has already been wildly successful and should be continued in any additional COVID-19 pandemic relief legislation. 

The White House will resume tours starting Saturday, Sept. 12. Tours are limited to two days per week, at 18% capacity. CDC guidelines will be in place, which include wearing a mask and social distancing whenever possible. To request a tour visit Riggleman.house.gov.

Denver Riggleman represents Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached by visiting https://riggleman.house.gov/ or by phone at (434) 973-9631.