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House Approves Bipartisan Opioid Crisis Response Act; Legislation Heads to President for Signature

September 28, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) released the following statement after the House of Representatives approved bipartisan legislation, the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 6 –Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. H.R. 6 was previously approved by the Senate and will help combat the opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, improving prevention, protecting our communities, and bolstering efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl.

Rep. Newhouse: “When I hosted a public opioid summit in Central Washington, one woman bravely shared the story of the impact of opioids on her family. Her son, Eli, was exposed to opioids in high school, and he struggled with recovery. Eli passed away in 2014 at the early age of 22 years. Sadly, I hear stories like this one all too often. The toll of the opioid epidemic on Washington families has been tragic, and Congress is taking action today to address this crisis. Families facing this tragedy need more support, and the SUPPORT Act will expand access to treatment and recovery services as well as provide critical resources to Washington state to combat this crisis. Today we made progress. This is for Eli.”

According to the Washington State Department of Health, the opioid epidemic has caused more than 7,500 deaths in Washington between 2006 and 2016.

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

For more information on H.R. 6, click here.