“I promised that I would never give up the fight against prescription drugs, and that’s why the FDA is holding this meeting,” Manchin said in a statement Thursday. “I was so proud to have the support of groups on the front line, like law enforcement, prosecutors and medical groups. When all the people who are responsible for fighting this epidemic tell you that they need more tools and that we need to make hydrocodone tougher to abuse, Congress needs to listen — and act.”

He said he would speak about the dangers of hydrocodone at FDA headquarters in Silver Spring, Md. Manchin's speech is before the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee, which advises the FDA on the abuse potential of drugs and makes recommendations about how they should be controlled.

Manchin said that scientific studies conducted by the FDA on whether hydrocodone is addictive should be made public so lawmakers can make decisions about how to classify the drug.

In May, Manchin amended the Food and Drug Administration funding bill to address instances of people obtaining hydrocodone combination drugs for illegitimate reasons. But the House removed the language, which passed in the Senate. As a compromise, Manchin got this public meeting, to be held later this month.

Manchin asked his constituents to send his office stories about their experiences with hydrocodone addiction.

“I ask all the people of West Virginia to call or write to my office so that I can share your personal stories about how the epidemic of prescription drug abuse is tearing apart your families, your schools, your businesses and your communities,” Manchin said.