A congressional field hearing on drug abuse in Iowa will be held in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, hosted by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley.
The hearing will offer testimony to the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. Grassley, a Republican, says one focus will be on opioids, which are responsible for a rising number of overdose deaths in Iowa in recent years. Grassley says, “We have tremendous problems with opioids generally, but an increasing problem because of fentanyl.”
According to Grassley, the field hearing will provide insight and information on the needs of Iowa and local communities when it comes to federal drug control policy. “I think the problem is worse in eastern Iowa than in other parts of the state,” Grassley says, “but don’t let me downgrade any discussion of the problem by saying it’s not only in Iowa but it’s throughout the country and in some parts of the country, even worse than Iowa.”
The list of witnesses includes experts and professionals from the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, Iowa Alliance of Coalitions for Change and CRUSH (Community Resources United to Stop Heroin) of Iowa. In a statement, Grassley says, “The testimony we hear will provide important insight on Iowa’s drug control efforts, and how Congress can work to support Iowans as both legislative and executive branches develop a comprehensive approach to an ongoing and ever-changing problem.”
“It’s very important that we prioritize the safety and wellbeing of Iowa families,” Grassley says, “and that’s doing it through enhancing drug control, prevention, education, law enforcement and international interdiction.”
The hearing is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m. at the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids.