Experienced Legislator, Executive, and Educator To Enrich Relationships with Federal, State, and Local Governments Addressing Prescription Drug Abuse
Washington, D.C. – October 27, 2015 – The Board of Directors of the Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence (CLAAD) announced today that the Honorable Karen L. Thurman has joined the organization as Senior Government Relations Advisor. Hon. Thurman’s experience as a U.S. Congresswoman, state legislator, mayor, and teacher will enhance the non-for-profit organization’s efforts to encourage federal, state, and local government leaders to adopt moderate, consensus-based policies to reduce prescription drug abuse.
“Congresswoman Thurman’s record in elective office proved her commitment to addressing our nation’s most pressing problems collaboratively and judiciously,” said Paul Scott O’Neill, Board Liaison. “CLAAD is likewise committed to responding deliberatively to our nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 2 million Americans abuse prescription drugs. The prevalence of prescription drug abuse continues to have far-reaching impacts on public health. Recent increases in heroin use, and new infections of HIV and hepatitis C are interrelated with the abuse of opioid pain medications.
At the same time, aggressive government enforcement, legislation, and regulation in reaction to the public health crisis have made it difficult and, in some cases, impossible for individuals with complex conditions like pain, anxiety, ADHD, and addiction to access the evidence-based medications their health care providers have deemed necessary.
“Government must demonstrate compassion toward all of the individuals, families, and communities prescription drug abuse affects,” Hon. Thurman stated. “From my own family’s experience, I know firsthand the stress and suffering associated with the inability to obtain necessary medications. I am looking forward to working with CLAAD to advance policies to stem prescription drug abuse and, at the same time, improve access to high-quality health care.”
Hon. Thurman served in the United States House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003, representing Florida’s Fifth Congressional District. Her moderate, bipartisan record as a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health distinguished her as a national leader on health care policy.
Prior to being elected to Congress in 1992, Hon. Thurman served in the Florida State Senate for 10 years. She also served as a member of the City Council and Mayor of Dunnellon, Florida. Before her career in elective office, Hon. Thurman taught middle school mathematics. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Florida.
“CLAAD’s board, staff, and coalition members are thrilled and privileged to work with Congresswoman Thurman to convey sensible recommendations for curtailing prescription drug abuse to health care policy makers,” O’Neill stated.
About the Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence
CLAAD is a 501(c)(3) organization working to address the nation’s prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic. CLAAD’s mission includes advancing consumer access to high-quality care for pain, addiction, HIV, hepatitis C, and other health conditions. Our National Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Strategy, now in its fourth iteration, has been vetted and endorsed by more than 30 not-for-profit health and safety organizations. For more information, visit CLAAD.org and follow @CLAAD_Coalition on Twitter.