Trump Signs Bills To Treat Opiod Crisis

Representative Greg Walden’s (R-Hood River) comprehensive legislation to combat the nationwide opioid crisis was signed into law by President Trump today at the White House. Walden’s SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 393-8 in September and the Senate by a vote of 98-1 in October, represents the largest legislative effort to combat a single drug crisis in history. Walden said today that this bill will save lives and help get communities in Oregon on the path to recovery. 

 “Across our district I’ve met with the victims, families, treatment advocates, medical providers, and law enforcement officers who are on the front lines of the opioid crisis in Oregon,” said Walden. “Today is about these people, each of whom puts a name and a face to a crisis that killed more than 72,000 people nationwide in 2017 and takes the lives of more Oregonians than traffic accidents. This bipartisan legislation brings critical support to the communities most desperately in need, provides new tools and resources for those on the ground in this fight, and helps stop the flow of deadly drugs across our borders. Rarely can we say that legislation will save lives, but there is no doubt that this bill will do just that. While there is much more work to be done, today is an important step forward to help stem the tide and get communities in Oregon on the road to recovery.” 

Walden’s legislation, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6), is a bipartisan bill that will help in our overall efforts to combat the opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, improving prevention, protecting our communities, and bolstering our efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl. 

The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act follows the passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act that Walden helped pass into law last Congress, the $4 billion appropriated in the government funding measure earlier this year to help combat the opioid crisis, as well as the $6.7 billion included in a recent appropriations package to boost programs that fight, treat, and stop substance abuse, and support access to mental health services. 

How the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act will Help Combat the Opioid Crisis: 

Treatment and Recovery  

▪ Improve and expand access to treatment and recovery services  

▪ Provide incentives for enhanced care, coordination, and innovation 

▪ Establish comprehensive opioid recovery centers  

Prevention

▪ Encourage non-addictive opioid alternatives to treat pain  

▪ Improve data to identify and help at-risk patients and families 

▪ Address high prescribing rates while enhancing prescription drug monitoring programs  

Protecting Communities 

▪ Give law enforcement tools to get dangerous drugs out of our communities  

▪ Better intercept illicit opioids at international mail facilities 

▪ Improve access to federal resources for local communities  

Fighting Fentanyl

▪ Better tackle ever-changing synthetic drugs  

▪ Crack down on foreign shipments of illicit drugs 

▪ Provide grants for local communities to combat fentanyl  

Source: Representative Greg Walden

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