A select group of participants from the Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG), including NAADAC, participated in a Zoom meeting with Congressman Kevin Hern (R-OK) on June 30, 2020. Representative Hern represents the 1st District of Oklahoma and is a member of the Freshman Working Group on Addiction. The roundtable discussion was co-hosted by MHLG and the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose and provided advocates with the opportunity to provide education and raise the visibility of our collective advocacy efforts.
Julie Shroyer, policy consultant to NAADAC, was able to open the question and answer session during the discussion and urged Congressman Hern to support supplemental funding for addiction treatment and reimbursement for professionals in the next COVID-19 relief package. National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) Executive Director Robert Morrison also spoke about addiction prevention and the importance of continued investments in the SAMSHA Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant and the State Opioid Response Grants.
Overall, the Congressman was very receptive to the discussion and expressed his commitment to working with individual organizations on mental health and addiction issues in future legislation.