U.S. Rep. Glenn "G.T." Thompson, R-Howard, recently joined House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-WI and House colleagues for a signing ceremony of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S.524). The federal bill now goes to President Barack Obama’s desk for signature. Thompson, a member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, has been a vocal advocate for addressing this national crisis.
“In Pennsylvania alone, last year more than 3,300 people died as a result of drug overdoses, a 23 percent increase over 2014. This is not a rural or urban problem and there is not a community that has been untouched by harms of heroin and opioid use,” Thompson said.
“The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act is a necessary step in the right direction to addressing the problems of addiction and drug abuse in our communities,” Thompson added.
More than a dozen bills were involved in the package, including:
· The Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act (H.R. 5046): This legislation will make grant funding available to state and local governments for the creation of opioid reduction programs. The funds can be used for a variety of anti-opioid programs, including treatment programs, veteran treatment programs and juvenile opioid abuse programs. It can also be used to train first responders in using opioid overdose reversal drugs.
· H.R. 4641: This bill creates a task force to review, modify and update the prescribing practices of physicians in dealing with pain management, with the goal of stopping addiction before it starts.
· The Improving Safe Care for the Prevention of Infant Abuse and Neglect Act (H.R. 4843): This measure, co-sponsored by Thompson, would make sure states which receive federal funds for the treatment of opioid-dependent babies comply with federal law in caring for them.