With drug overdoses harming the families of our nation and hindering economic growth, Clayton Fuller, Republican Candidate for U.S. Congress GA-14 released the following statement outlining his plan to combat this epidemic:
On average, 192 Americans die every day from a drug overdose, with 130 of those being from an opioid overdose. If you live around here, like I do, the likelihood of your life being affected or destroyed by this epidemic is significantly higher. In a shocking case in point, a 25-34 year old woman living in Appalachia is 92 percent more likely to die from an overdose than one living anywhere else in the United States. The opioid and meth epidemics make national news and they are a national problem, but they are disproportionately affecting our rural communities, and they need to be addressed at the federal level by people who actually understand our local needs.
I spent years as a prosecutor in Northwest Georgia’s counties, facing the fallout from this epidemic head-on. Unless you live and work here, in the epicenter, you cannot understand how deep this problem runs. The suffering of the unseen victims is immense. There are countless children growing up without their parents because they’re dead or in jail; our men and women of law enforcement are putting their lives in danger every day; the people who have served their time end up sucked back into the cycle of addiction because there aren’t enough support systems or opportunities to lift them out. This past year, I was chosen by President Trump to join the highly selective and prestigious White House Fellows program in Washington D.C. In my time there, I was handpicked by the Vice President to help his Domestic Policy Advisor and his wife, Second Lady Karen Pence, on crafting their response to the opioid epidemic. And now I am running for Congress because the people of North Georgia need and deserve a representative in Washington who has the experience and the tools to fight to solve this enormous problem.
The Trump Administration has done incredible initial work on the opioid epidemic but as a candidate I want to bring broader awareness to the methamphetamine epidemic. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Health Services, meth related deaths now outpace fentanyl deaths in 12 states including Georgia. 90% of meth consumed by Americans comes from Mexico. I will lead the charge to ensure all law and policy is oriented to giving President Trump the ability to label the Mexican cartels, whose labs are making the meth in our community, a foreign terrorist organization immediately.
Atlanta is a primary trafficking hub of the Mexican cartels. They use interstates in our district to move this poison throughout the country. Our brave Georgia law enforcement agencies are on the front lines daily to stop them and they need more resources. I will fight to help fund them.
We must address the unseen victims of the opioid and meth epidemics in our communities. Opioid orphans who have lost parents, front line law enforcement in our jails who deal with the mental health challenges of our communities, or the innocent lives lost on roadways. My first bill in Congress will be The Unseen Victims Bill, which will incentivize private capital investment in business and entrepreneurs who combat the opioid and meth epidemics.
Finally, many of the 192 Americans that die each day are killed by fentanyl and the variants created by cartel labs to take advantage of gaps in U.S. law. In Congress, I will fight to close those legal gaps and put a permanent ban on all fentanyl analogues.
I am raising my children in the North Georgia community that I am proud to call home. Every child in North Georgia deserves to grow up without the shadow of meth and opioids hanging over their futures.