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House passes legislative package addressing opioid crisis

June 26, 2018

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The House of Representatives June 22 overwhelmingly passed a legislative package aimed at ending the nation's opioid epidemic and focused on expanding treatment and recovery initiatives and fighting synthetic drugs.

H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act, next heads to the Senate. The bill is an aggregate of more than 50 individual opioid bills, a number of which the ADA supported.

Among other things, the House package authorizes a new round of training grants to help prescribers manage acute pain with minimal use of opioids, identify risky substance use behaviors, and briefly counsel and refer those patients for appropriate treatment. It also provides assistance to help states improve their prescription drug monitoring programs.

Additionally, the bill authorizes the National Institutes of Health to fast track its pain management research, including the development of new, nonaddictive pain medications; and calls on drug manufacturers to develop new and convenient ways for consumers to safely dispose of unused medications.

In 2016, the ADA successfully lobbied for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which authorized a number of activities to help prevent opioid misuse and abuse. Congressional funding for those activities has been limited.

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