FED UP! holds rally to raise awareness of need for more federal dollars for opioid addiction treatment

08/31/2016 04:34 PM

LOUISVILLE — A coalition of people who have lost loved ones to opioid addiction held a rally in downtown Louisville on Wednesday, urging more federal funding for treatment.

More federal dollars for opioid treatment was the message today at the FED UP! Overdose Awareness Rally in downtown Louisville.

FED UP! is a coalition of individuals who have lost family members to opioid addiction.

Emily Walden, who runs a Kentucky chapter of the Florida-based organization Stop the Organized Pill Pushers Now and organized of the FED UP! Overdose Awareness Rally, lost her son T.J. to pain pill addiction a little more than more years ago at the age of 21.

She told the crowd of approximately 100 that it’s time for the federal government to fund comprehensive treatment programs for victims of opioid addiction.

“In order for this epidemic to get under control, we need our federal government to take action,” Walden said. “We need mandatory funding for the CARA act. Our president has proposed $1.1 billion and we need Congress to act.”

Last year, 1,248 Kentuckians lost their lives to opioid addiction.

Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley said that the key to attacking the addiction problem is for everyone, including the federal government, to fully understanding the severity of the issue.

“What if we lost 130 people a day to a commuter plane crash, what would be the reaction be to that?” Tilley asked. “How much money would the federal government spend to fix that problem? Well, that’s how many people we lose across the country to overdose deaths.”

Attorney General Andy Beshear said addiction is something all Kentuckians need to be concerned with, especially those with young children.

“I’m fed up with the reality that my 6- and 7-year-olds are growing up in a world where they will be offered heroin before they finish high school,” Beshear said. “I am committed to doing everything in my power, every day, to stem the tide of these drugs and to better protect your children and mine.”

FED UP! rallies took place in cities across the country today. The group plans to hold their fourth annual March on Washington event on Sept. 18.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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