U.S. Rep. John Sullivan, R-Tulsa, who checked himself into the Betty Ford Clinic in 2009 for treatment of alcoholism, will help lead an internal House group called the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus.
Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan will be the co-chairman.
According to a news release, the caucus will be “dedicated to educating and raising awareness among lawmakers about addiction issues in hopes of increasing legislative support for expanding access to treatment.”
Said Sullivan, “This is an important caucus to help put a public face on addiction issues facing our country. This caucus is especially important to Oklahoma as we have one of the highest rates of mental illness in America, with up to one-fourth of Oklahomans suffering from a mental health condition or addiction disorder. I look forward to working with my colleagues to raise awareness and advance public policies of importance to the addiction and mental health community.”
Ryan said, “I look forward to working with my colleagues, especially John Sullivan, on this Caucus to advance legislation that’s mindful of a more rigorous system for not just treating addiction but also preventing it. In the most severe circumstances, history tells us that the way that these illnesses are treated and supervised must be reformed. I hope that the efforts of this Caucus will play a significant role in all aspects of the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation process.”