WASHINGTON, D.C. – During the State of the Union address on February 4th, Rep. Dean will be joined by Patrick Flynn, a person in long-term recovery from addiction and a champion for awareness of substance abuse disorders. Mr. Flynn emerged as an activist after a ten-year struggle with opioid addiction. Mr. Flynn is now an advocate for Someone You Know, an associate group at Independence Blue Cross -- inspired by the love and support he received from family, friends, and colleagues. The group aims to empower a community impacted by substance abuse disorders, dismantle the stigma of addiction, and raise awareness. 

“I’m very honored that Rep. Dean chose me to join her at this historic occasion. I’m also thankful for her passionate support of all people struggling with, and recovering from, substance use disorders,” Patrick Flynn, Government Affairs specialist at Independence Blue Cross said. “Since I took my first steps into recovery more than five years ago, my life has changed extraordinarily.”

“I am proud of the work Patrick and the Someone You Know campaign has done to destigmatize the disease of addiction and I admire his strength and leadership on this issue, Rep. Dean said. “One of my top priorities in Congress is combating the opioid crisis – which tragically claims over 4,000 lives a year in Pennsylvania. I am pleased to have Patrick join me at the State of the Union to bring more awareness to this devastating public health crisis and am eager to work together on solutions to heal addiction. 

In 2019, Mr. Flynn’s valuable contribution to substance abuse disorder received recognition with the Unsung Hero Award from Caron Treatment Centers. Independence Blue Cross and Mr. Flynn have joined Rep. Dean to discuss the opioid epidemic and bring the Someone You Know campaign to the Capitol.

“It is beyond rewarding to help individuals affected by addiction through the Someone You Know associate group at Independence Blue Cross,” Mr. Flynn said. “We’re working to break down the stigma associated with this disease. Every person struggling with substance abuse disorder is special to someone. That kind of compassion goes a long way.”

Rep. Madeleine Dean is a mother, grandmother, attorney, professor, former four-term member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, member of the Freshman Working Group on Addiction, and U.S. Representative for the Fourth District of Pennsylvania.