Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act (S. 2004)

The opioid crisis in America has destroyed families and communities alike; the time for intensive action is long overdue. The epidemic killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, a rate that was more than any year on record.1 Further, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an estimated 3.3 million Americans aged 12 or over misused prescription pain relievers in 2016.1

Recently, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Although Congress has taken great strides to increase funding for prevention, treatment and recovery in recent years, a more stable, long term investment and more targeted funding is needed to help the hardest hit communities curb the rising impact of this paralyzing epidemic.

For this reason, Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced the Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act (S. 2004). The American Psychiatric Association has endorsed S. 2004 to help patients and families hurt by this epidemic.

S. 2004 proposes:

  • $45 billion to address the opioid crisis over 10 fiscal years, similar the amount proposed in the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).
  • Allocates funding to the Account for State Response to the Opioid Abuse Crisis, created by the 21st Century Cures Act’s opioid response fund.
  • Allows states to also use this funding for detection, surveillance, and treatment of co-occurring conditions and data collection/reporting on the number of deaths from opioid overdose.
  • Invests $252 million over five fiscal years for research on pain and addiction.
  • The National Institutes of Health will administer research funding for the Account.

References

  1. Drug Overdose. CDC.
  2. Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. SAMHSA.