Palm Desert, CA – Earlier today Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) emphasized the need to address the opioid epidemic troubling the nation. During a hearing with the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee named, “The Overdose Crisis: Interagency Proposal to Combat Illicit Fentanyl-Related Substances,” Ruiz told the story of Jennifer Loza, a resident of Bermuda Dunes who lost her son to fentanyl poisoning.
“As a physician, I have treated far too many patients with substance use disorder in the emergency department, many fighting for their lives,” said Dr. Ruiz in the hearing. “Just this week, I heard from one of my constituents, Jennifer from Bermuda Dunes in my district California, who tragically lost her son last year. Steven Loza was just 18-yeard-old and had recently graduated from high school when he died of fentanyl poisoning…We must continue fighting for Jennifer, Steven, and families across the country who have been afflicted by this crisis and enact policies that help prevent more suffering and unnecessary loss of life.”
The hearing comes one day after the Biden Administration’s Office of National Drug Control Policy released their drug policy priorities, which include bold approaches to reducing overdose deaths. You can watch Ruiz’s remarks in today’s hearing here.