The Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus Announces New Co-Chairs

Washington, DC – Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Dave Joyce (R-OH) announces new Co-Chairs of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus. Rep. Sensenbrenner is the new Republican Co-Chair and Rep. Joyce is the new Republican Vice-Chair – Rep. Ryan remains the Democratic Co-Chair and Rep. Tonko remains as the Democratic Vice-Chair. This important Caucus works to educate and raise awareness among lawmakers about addiction prevention, treatment and substance abuse.

Opioid deaths have surpassed 30,000 for the first time in history, while nearly 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year. Substance abuse costs our nation $600 billion in health care, criminal justice, and lost productivity costs, but that is nothing compared to the toll it takes on our families and friends.  Preventing the further spread of this epidemic is essential to our nation’s complete recovery. 

The Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus aims to stop these devastating trends by bringing awareness to this cause and changing the stigma associated with addiction and mental illness.

“I welcome Representatives Sensenbrenner and Joyce in joining Representative Tonko and myself as Chairs of the Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus. Their leadership and expertise will help our Caucus to continue to tackle the difficult and complex issues of addiction and substance abuse in the United States. I have always been proud of the collaborative and bipartisan nature of our Caucus and I look forward to continuing this important work in the 115th Congress,” said Rep. Ryan.

“The dramatic rise in heroin and opioid addiction is causing devastation throughout the United States, ruining thousands of lives and destroying entire communities in its wake. I look forward to continuing the fight against addiction through the work of this caucus, and together with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I’m optimistic we can pass serious, common-sense solutions to help every American suffering under the weight of addiction,” said Rep. Sensenbrenner.

“Addiction is a devastating illness that destroys lives and tears families apart. Communities in my home state of New York and throughout our country are struggling to keep up with the rapid spread of dangerous new drugs into local schools, offices, community spaces, and every corner of our lives. There has never been a more important time for serious public policy leaders to work in a bipartisan manner to combat this national epidemic. I welcome Representatives James Sensenbrenner and Dave Joyce to their new roles co-chairing the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus with Congressman Tim Ryan and myself and look forward to a constructive term working with them on this important national issue,” said Rep. Tonko.

“When I was a prosecuting attorney, I saw first-hand the havoc inflicted by addiction. Now, it seems that not a day goes by without some new article or story about its devastating effects. Addiction is truly a country-wide epidemic, and it has been particularly harmful to communities back in my home state of Ohio. While the House has taken important steps regarding addiction treatment and the stigma attached to addiction, there is still more to be done. Addiction is a disease, and those who are suffering need our help,” said Rep. Joyce.