Congress Moves to Curb the Opioid Epidemic
Across the House and Senate, members of both parties continue to work bipartisanly in order to find solutions for their communities and country at large.
Despite what many consider amongst the most rancorous periods in Congressional history, the fight against the opioid crisis has been joined in full measure by both parties.
U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), featured speakers at the Opioid Epidemic – Youth Awareness & Prevention Briefing, spoke of legislation each sponsored to address the prescription drug crisis, which included a co-sponsored bill they worked on in 2017, the INTERDICT Act.
Both Senators supported the 2016 Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. Senator Capito was a co-sponsor on the updated CARA 2.0 legislation in 2018.
Inspired by a need for legislative action, Members of the House of Representatives introduced 58 bills in the month of June to address this issue.
The culmination of that activity came on Friday, June 22, when the House passed the most expansive legislation ever undertaken to address drug abuse and addiction – the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act.
The bipartisan package combined all 58 bills. Provisions range widely from funding for the development of alternative pain treatments and enhanced crime-fighting interdiction capabilities, to combatting the sharp rise in fentanyl usage, increased treatment and recovery options, and much more.
The U.S. Senate is expected to continue work on its own package. Reconciliation with the House version and a final vote are expected later this year. At that point the bill will be forwarded to President Trump, who is expected to sign the sweeping legislation into law.