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Higgins announces approval of legislation authorizing $5 billion to address opioid prevention & treatment measures

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Fri, Nov 20th 2020 10:45 am

Each state to receive at least $4 million annually for next 5 years

Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, announced the House of Representatives approved H.R. 2466, the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act of 2020. The bill provides funding to states and tribes for opioid prevention and treatment measures.

“Combatting the opioid epidemic presents a number of challenges, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated factors contributing to opioid abuse,” he said. “This legislation provides needed resources to help states tackle the growing problem toward the goal of saving lives.”

Under the bipartisan legislation, $1 billion would be dedicated each year for the next five years for state and tribal opioid response grants. The program, administered under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), provides grants for prevention, treatment and recovery activities addressing opioid use disorder. This includes increasing access to medication-assisted treatment and training for health care practitioners.

Higgins, a member of the Congressional Bipartisan Opioid Task Force, previously led legislation to expand medication-assisted treatment. In this session, he is sponsoring the Opioid Treatment Providers Act, which expands job training to health professionals specializing in opioid treatment.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2018 10.3 million people misused prescription opioids and over 130 people died on average every day as a result of opioid-related drug overdoses. A recent brief by the American Medical Association released last month noted more than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality during the COVID pandemic.

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