Over the last five years, Americans have seen a dramatic rise in home invasions. The numbers rose slowly and steadily from 2000 to 2013 and skyrocketed from there through 2016, when the same menace claimed 20,145 lives in 12 months.
The intruder has made its way into communities in every corner of every state. It’s called fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that stole into countless families, widening the wake of damage left by other opiates like heroin. Together, opioids ended the lives of at least 1,395 Georgians in 2016.I recently visited an inpatient treatment center in Sautee Nacoochee that serves people across our region and navigates the intersections of substance abuse and mental health treatment. While I’m grateful for the hope that private initiatives like this offer people who are living under the shadow of opioid abuse, working with local law enforcement, churches and mental health experts has strengthened my conviction that Congress must combat this epidemic proactively.