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Press Release Published: Oct 24, 2018

New Opioids Legislation Signed Into Law

Full Committee on Oversight and Accountability

WASHINGTON, DC – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), and Subcommittee Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statements after President Donald J. Trump signed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act:

“Opioid overdose deaths are preventable, yet there are still more than 100 every day. Midwestern states like Iowa have seen opioid overdoses increase 70 percent from July 2016 to September 2017. It’s a complicated problem that requires creative, comprehensive and collaborative solutions,” Grassley said. “This broad, bipartisan legislation provides solutions. It’s family-focused, includes commonsense reforms to bring transparency to prescribing and will help those fighting the opioid epidemic on the front lines through grants aimed at education, prevention and treatment. It also supports the efforts of law enforcement, be it through educating officers and first responders who come in contact with dangerous substances like fentanyl, or allowing prosecutors to put drug traffickers behind bars. It builds on the success of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, and is another positive step forward to reduce the impact of this devastating epidemic.”

“The opioid crisis has cut short tens of thousands of lives and broken countless families,” Sen. Cornyn said. “With the Substance Abuse Prevention Act signed into law, we can better support law enforcement and healthcare agencies tasked with reducing demand and helping those in rehabilitation. I applaud the President for signing it and Congress for working together because no state has been spared by this epidemic.”

“Each day, families and communities across the nation lose loved ones to drug addiction. The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act being signed into law brings us one step closer to ending this devastating national crisis,” Gowdy said. “I thank Chairman Grassley, Senator Cornyn, and Rep. Meadows for working with our Committee to ensure H.R. 6 included language to reauthorize and revamp the Office of National Drug Control Policy, including reauthorizing the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas and Drug-Free Communities programs. ONDCP, HIDTAs, and DFCs all play a critical role in combatting the opioid crisis. This new law modernizes ONDCP’s structure and responsibilities to give the office and its programs the tools they need to fight this epidemic.”

“Far too many men, women, and families across America have suffered from the preventable spread of opioid abuse,” Rep. Meadows said. “The effects of this crisis are heartbreaking and are felt in the homes of many in my state of North Carolina, which is home to 4 of the top 20 cities in America suffering from opioid abuse. With over 12,000 North Carolinians having died as a result of the epidemic since 1996, President Trump’s signature on the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act represents a landmark shift in helping us turn the corner. Policy changes like new evidence-based prescribing guidelines, or increased scrutiny against synthetic opioids and other illicit substances entering the United States through the mail, will represent an effective step in the right direction. These reforms are bipartisan, common sense, and targeted toward local communities so that treatment professionals and law enforcement officers can have access to the tools they need to help families suffering from the epidemic’s devastation. I want to thank my colleagues Chairman Gowdy, Senator Grassley, and Senator Cornyn for their leadership in guiding these reforms through Congress.”

The Substance Abuse Prevention Act was originally introduced by Senators Cornyn and Feinstein to reauthorize critical programs to reduce demand for narcotics, provide assistance to various agencies so they can better combat opioid addiction, and support those recovering from substance use disorders.

The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act includes provisions from H.R. 5925, the Coordinated Response through Interagency Strategy and Information Sharing (CRISIS) Act, to reauthorize and revamp the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). The CRISIS Act was introduced by Reps. Gowdy, Cummings, Meadows, and Connolly, and passed the House on June 20, 2018.