Seven Federal Bills Addressing the Country's Opioid Problem
Seven pieces of legislation moving through the U.S. House and Senate address the country's growing opioid problem. The House has approved the Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 (H.R. 1462 and S. 799), which directs the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a strategy for addressing gaps in research and programs for prenatal opioid use and neonatal abstinence syndrome. It has also approved the All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1725 and S. 480), which reauthorizes grants to maintain and operate prescription drug monitoring programs and encourage interstate cooperation. The Opioid Overdose Reduction Act of 2015 (H.R. 1821 and S. 707) would exempt individuals from liability for harm caused by the emergency administration of an opioid overdose drug under certain circumstances. The Heroin and Prescription Opioid Abuse Prevention, Education, and Enforcement Act of 2015 (H.R. 2805 and S. 1134) would establish a national drug awareness campaign that emphasizes similarities between heroin and prescription opioids. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 (H.R. 953 and S. 524) would authorize the Attorney General to provide grants for expanding educational efforts to prevent opioid, heroin, and other substance abuse. The Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment Act, or TREAT Act (H.R. 2536 and S. 1455), would increase the number of patients a qualifying practitioner dispensing narcotic drugs for maintenance or detoxification is allowed to treat. The Stop Overdose Stat Act of 2015 (H.R. 2850 and S. 1654) would require the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to distribute naloxone or similar overdose-prevention drugs and train the public, first responders, or health professionals on drug overdose prevention.
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