Washington, D.C. – May 17, 2016 – Two local Horses Healing Hearts (HHH) representatives are traveling to the nation’s capital this week to fight for expanded funding for substance abuse prevention. HHH founder Lizabeth Olszewski and 14-year-old participant Dylan Armus will participate in the 2016 CARA Family Day on Capitol Hill on May 18 and will tell their stories to legislators supporting expanded coverage for prevention and addiction.
HHH is a one-of-a-kind equine prevention program for children of alcoholics and addicts. West Palm Beach, Florida based HHH gives children of addicts a safe place where they learn valuable coping skills and heal emotionally.
Armus was invited to speak during the House Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic Hearing: 129 a Day, held at the Rayburn House Office Building, by Addiction Policy Forum. He will share his personal experience surviving his mother’s addiction and support the efforts of other leaders to prevent drug and alcohol abuse, speaking in front of Congress in an event that will be aired on C-SPAN.
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) recently passed both the Senate and the House. One of the key issues is prevention. HHH saves Palm Beach County over $2 million a year by working with children through their preventative education program and also helps adults in recovery through their certified Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) program. It was Sis Wenger, President of NaCOA and member of the HHH Advisory Board, who invited Olszewski and Armus to the event.
“There are many facets of the bill that are important, but youth prevention is key to getting in front of the problem of addiction,” Olszewski said. “If we teach young people healthy life-coping skills, providing them the tools to build a better future for themselves, we will not have to pay as much on the back end-In the streets, hospitals, jails and morgues. I guess the question for the appropriations committee would be, ‘How much are we willing to invest in our young people’s futures to reduce the cost of the human and financial expense?'”
The hearing of the Bipartisan Taskforce to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, is co-chaired by Congressman Frank Guinta (R-NH) and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH), along with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI). Armus will tell his story of how his mother’s addiction affected him with a 3-minute verbal testimony and his written testimony will be inserted into the record. As a family member who has been impacted by addiction, the stories are paramount to the success of CARA.
C-SPAN will air the congressional hearing on Wednesday, beginning at 4 p.m. EST.
Olszewski will also meet with members of Congress to give input on a prevention strategy that will reduce the necessity for reactionary measures. The goal of HHH attending the event is to raise awareness for prevention of addictive substances. As the only non-profit in the nation using horses to work with the demographic of children of alcoholics (COAs), it is up to HHH to give a voice to this problem.
CARA FAMILY DAY ON CAPITOL HILL FAST FACTS:
WHAT: CARA Family Day on Capitol Hill
WHO: Families across American impacted by the opioid epidemic
WHERE: Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
WHEN: Wednesday, May 18, and Thursday, May 19, 2016
WHY: To meet with Members of Congress regarding the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA) and other opioid bills. It is time for Congress to address the opioid epidemic by moving quickly with CARA and related opioid legislation to bring to the desk of the President of the United States.
Family Day Schedule
Wednesday, May 18:
4:00-6:00 p.m. House Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic Hearing: 129 a Day, 2226 Rayburn House Office Building
6:30-8:00 p.m. CARA Family Day Reception & Kick-Off, 562 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Thursday, May 19:
9:00 a.m. Press Conference: CARA Family Day, US Capitol
10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Meetings with Members of Congress
ABOUT HORSES HEALING HEARTS
To learn more about Horses Healing Hearts or how you can help with donations of money or time, log onto www.hhhusa.org or email Liz Olszewski at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the EAGALA Model, visit www.eagala.org.