‘Landmark Legislation’ To Combat The Opioid Crisis

 ‘A Historic Bill’: Senate Overwhelmingly Passes ‘Sweeping’ Legislation ‘Aimed At Combating The Nation's Deadly Opioid Epidemic’

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Yesterday, the U.S. Senate sent a clear message to the millions of Americans who have personally done battle with addiction to opioids and prescription drugs…. To every American affected by the opioid epidemic, the landmark legislation the Senate passed yesterday says: ‘The nation will not stand for this. More help is on the way.’ Yesterday evening, we voted to build on Congress’s prior efforts and deliver more relief to the communities that need it most…. This landmark legislation is like a Swiss army knife that will help the federal government fight opioid addiction in many different ways.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 9/18/2018)

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN), Senate HELP Committee Chairman: “I am convinced that this piece of legislation, the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, will help deal with the worst public health epidemic we have had. We have a sense of bipartisan urgency about finishing our work in the Senate and combining our efforts with the House.” (Sen. Alexander, Congressional Record, S. 6177, 9/17/2018)

  • SEN. ALEXANDER: “[T]he opioid crisis is the most serious public health epidemic in our country. It is ravaging virtually every community…. That is why five different committees in this body have reported bills that have made a contribution to the Opioid Crisis Response Act … That is why 72 different Senators have provisions in this bill.(Sen. Alexander, Congressional Record, S. 6176, 9/17/2018)

JESSICA NICHOLS, Addiction Policy Forum President: “I think it’s an important moment of new resources and better policies to address the opioid epidemic…. It’s a historic bill that treats addiction like the disease it is.” (“Senate Passes Sweeping Opioids Package,” The Washington Post, 9/17/2018)

‘Senate Passes Sweeping,’ ‘Ambitious,’ ‘Bipartisan’ Legislation ‘To Combat Opioid Epidemic’

“The Senate on Monday overwhelmingly approved a sweeping legislative package of bills aimed at combating the nation's deadly opioid epidemic. The bipartisan measure passed 99-1…. Similar to the House package passed in June, the Senate's Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 (OCRA) directs funding to federal agencies to establish or expand programs dealing with prevention, treatment and recovery.” (“Senate Passes Sweeping Legislation To Combat Opioid Epidemic,” NBC News, 9/17/2018)

  • “President Trump and Congress vowed a federal government response to a crisis that affects millions of Americans and is responsible for the deaths of close to 50,000 last year…. The package of 70 Senate bills costs $8.4 billion and creates, expands and renews programs across multiple agencies. It’s ambitious in scope …” (“Senate Passes Sweeping Opioids Package,” The Washington Post, 9/17/2018)


Bill Includes Provisions To ‘Enhance Recovery Efforts,’ ‘Crack Down On The Shipment Of Deadly, Synthetic Opioids Into The U.S.,’ And ‘Prioritize The Development Of Non-Addictive Painkillers’

“Highlights from the 70 bills in the package include funding that requires the Food and Drug Administration to dole out prescription opioid pills in smaller quantities and money that offers an incentive to the National Institutes of Health to prioritize the development of non-addictive painkillers, two solutions medical experts believe could help decrease opioid addiction in the long run.” (“Senate Passes Sweeping Legislation To Combat Opioid Epidemic,” NBC News, 9/17/2018)

“A key part of the package is the STOP ACT, which would crack down on the shipment of deadly, synthetic opioids into the U.S. from other countries…. The package would also make a number of regulatory changes aimed at improving access to treatment for opioid use disorder and authorize federal agencies to award grants to local and state groups and municipalities fighting the epidemic.” (“Senate Passes Bipartisan Bill To Curb Opioid Crisis,” The Hill, 9/17/2018)

“In addition to slowing the distribution of opioids, the legislation aims to enhance recovery efforts by supporting comprehensive recovery centers that will provide housing, job training, and medically supervised withdrawal management. Ten million dollars in grant money will be given to qualified applicants each year from 2019 to 2023 to support the creation of these centers.” (“Senate Passes Comprehensive Opioids Bill,” CBS News, 9/17/2018)

“Federal funding to combat the opioid epidemic has increased over the past few years, as the health crisis has worsened. The spending bill passed in March of this year included $4.7 billion to fight the health crisis, including $1 billion for grants for states. Lawmakers are also on track to approve $3.8 billion for the crisis in the appropriations bill for next year.” (“Senate Passes Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Opioid Epidemic,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/17/2018)




Related Issues: Health Care, Back to Work, Opioid Abuse