Opioid Legislation Progresses on Capital Hill
In October, President Trump declared the current United States opioid crisis a national public health emergency. June 11-18th, 2018 was the most successful week thus far regarding the fight against the opioid crisis. Several bipartisan agreements lead to the approval of 25 bills in the United States House of Representatives. Before heading to the Senate, the bills will be streamlined into a more solid and targeted package. Senate leader Mitch McConnell cancelled the scheduled summer recess for congress to assure President Trump’s availability and attention.
The most prominent bill introduced this week was the Opioid Recovery Centers Act of 2018. O.R.C.A focuses on long-term success and enforcing FDA approved medications, strengthening medicine-assisted treatments. A second bill requested funding to further research dedicated to discovering new medications to assist pain management. Additionally, a bill presented in partnership with the Surgeon General requested the increase in availability of the life-saving drug Naloxone, also known as Narcan.
The Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act of 2018 was presented to the house with bipartisan support from both Susan Collins (R) and Elizabeth Warren (D). The S.D.U.M.A. bill aims to enhance the disposal process of opioids by creating a system for hospice workers to properly dispose of unused medications following a patient’s passing. Furthermore, bills were introduced to improve sober living establishments, increase education on signs of medication abuse for pharmacists, and requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services to release a list of standards assuring ethical and efficient treatment operations.
In addition to the unveiling of over a dozen bills aiming to curb the opioid crisis, was a new ad campaign prepared by the White House. Each video attempts to “shock the conscience” a modern take on the 1980’s “this is your brain on drugs” campaign. Four videos were released last week; all retelling true stories of the horrors people have put themselves through to obtain narcotics. President Trump announced the goal of the campaign was to address the opioid crisis early, and shun kids from ever experimenting and therefore becoming addicted. Producers of the new campaign hope kids will not only learn themselves the dangers of opioids, but also share their opinions with peers and spread the message that way. Each video will appear on all main social media platforms in addition to targeted television spots.
Majority of the television spots airing the Know the Truth videos were donated by large companies hoping to lend their resources to the opioid crisis. Recently, Amazon announced it would be joining the Know the Truth campaign by equipping its popular product Amazon Alexa to answer questions regarding opioids and addiction treatment. Many big projects are currently in the works to begin to tackle to opioid crisis. A second round of opioid crisis focused bills will be introduced and voted on in the house January of 2019.
Seabrook is committed to stomping out the opioid crisis. As a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, we are actively working with local community leaders and politicians to make sure the voices of those suffering are being heard. We can help you and your family to overcome the cycle of addiction and develop tools for living a sober and satisfying life. To learn more about our addiction treatment programs, call us today: 800-761-7575. Find out more about our services on www.seabrook.org.