April 13, 2016

Manchin to introduce new legislation following Jessie Grubb death | WV Metro News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joe Manchin says he plans to introduce new legislation called “Jessie’s Law” in connection to the death of Jessica Grubb, of Charleston, who died last month after a seven year battle of heroin addiction.

Grubb, 30, who was clean for six months, died Mar. 2 in Michigan after being given pain killers following a hip surgery. The cause of her death is unknown pending an autopsy. Doctors claim they were unaware of her drug addiction and gave her 50 OxyContin pills.

Jessie Grubb, 30, died Mar. 2 in Michigan.

“She should never have been given one, not one,” Manchin (D-W.Va.) said during a Senate floor session Wednesday afternoon as he discussed Grubb’s story.

“Jessie’s death is particularly heartbreaking because it was 100 percent preventable,” he said.

Manchin said his proposal, which he plans to introduce next week, will prevent “a careless mistake” from happening to families across the United States.

“If I have one purpose of being in the Senate, it’s to bring to light these young people whose lives are changed, the families that have been changed all over West Virginia, all over America,” he said.

The senator said the drug problem needs to be attacked from every angle. On Wednesday, he called on family assistance programs, counseling programs, drug courts, law enforcement support, consumer and medical education and state and federal legislation to help the drug problem.

“We’ve got to speak up,” he said. “This is a fight we have to win.”

Last October, David Grubb, a former Kanawha County state senator, told his daughter’s story to President Barack Obama during a forum in Charleston. Last month, the President mentioned the Grubb family during a drug summit in Atlanta, Ga.

“Jessie’s story deeply impacted the President,” Manchin said. “I spoke with him about her death and the pain her family is going through.”

“Jessie’s future was very bright,” he continued. “She was a natural born leader. She truly was. She just was one of those girls that was captivating.”

At the time of Obama’s visit, Grubb was in a rehabilitation center in Michigan for the fourth time before her life was taken over by addiction in 2009.

In February, the President proposed $1.1 billion in new funding, mostly for new treatment programs throughout the U.S., in an effort to fight the ongoing opiod epidemic.

Last year, there were over 600 overdose deaths in West Virginia, Manchin said.

By:  Carrie Hodousek