Representative Tulsi Gabbard spoke on the House floor as the United States House of Representatives considers legislation on prescription opioid abuse this week.

Congresswoman Gabbard urged Congress to take action.

"2.1 million people suffer from dependency and addiction to prescription opioid drugs in the United States. 80% of the world's pain pills are consumed in the U.S., even though we only have 5% of the world's population," Congresswoman Gabbard said on the floor. "This is an epidemic that reaches every corner of our nation."

Among the details of her speech, Congresswoman Gabbard referenced an L.A. Times report detailing how Purdue Pharma has made $31 billion off of OxyContin. The bestselling pain killer is advertised as lasting for 12 hours while it wears off hours earlier for many people.

The L.A. Times article and investigation into the false pretenses that it is sold on often leads to "excruciating symptoms of withdrawal, including an intense craving for the drug."

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 7 million Americans have abused OxyContin, and it remains one of America's most abused pharmaceuticals in U.S. history.

"This week, the House is considering 15 bipartisan measures that seek to address some of the widespread problems that have caused and perpetuated this national crisis. But as we look at treatment options and support for those dealing with this addiction, it's important that we actually focus on the root cause of the problem," said Congresswoman Gabbard. "We have seen for decades how major pharmaceutical companies have misled the FDA, doctors, and patients about the safety and risks of opioid dependency on commonly prescribed prescription drugs in their efforts to sell more drugs."