- The Senate voted 94-1 Thursday in favor of the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. The bill has been introduced and awaits action in the House.
- If it passes, the law would authorize grants to states, local governments and nonprofit organizations for prescription drug monitoring, addiction treatment, prevention efforts, education and law enforcement initiatives.
- On Friday, HHS separately announced it was providing $94 million in ACA funding to 271 health centers around the U.S. to help address prescription opioid and heroin misuse, particularly in underserved populations.
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act would make some bold moves toward addressing the issues of opioid abuse--if it finds funding. Democrats argued over the bill's lack of any allocated money, while Republicans say it authorizes $725 million in federal grants and note $400 million was already appropriated by Congress to fight opioid abuse in December.
Further, Obama requested $1.1 billion in the 2017 budget for drug treatment.
If it passes, the legislation would authorize the expansion of electronic prescription drug monitoring programs, as well as direct HHS to create an inter-agency task force to address prescribing practices for pain medication, in order to reduce opioid addiction.