Collins’ bill included in bicameral opioid relief package

Sep 26, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Legislation introduced by Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) in the House and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) in the Senate has been included in the final text (Title VIII, Subtitle K) of the bipartisan, bicameral agreement designed to combat the opioid crisis. As part of the comprehensive package, the provisions from the Substance Abuse Prevention Act would bring a spectrum of practical solutions to bear on the opioid epidemic. 

“Families in Northeast Georgia and across the nation have suffered deeply under the opioid crisis, and the House continues to respond thoughtfully and thoroughly. We know, for example, that drug courts help people beat addiction and the Drug-Free Communities Program helps prevent it, and the inclusion of the Substance Abuse and Treatment Act in this agreement will ensure communities have access to both of these solutions and others like them,” said Collins.

“I’m thankful for the partnership of Sen. Cornyn and Rep. Deutch as we keep our promise to bring relief to victims of opioid abuse and increase support for the law enforcement officers manning the front lines. I look forward to swift action that will land this package on President Trump’s desk.” 

“I’m thankful for the leadership of Congressman Collins and Senators Cornyn and Feinstein in the effort to reauthorize important initiatives across the federal government—including drug court program—that not only help people address their mental health and addiction needs, but also work to prevent substance abuse before it starts. Our community should be proud of Broward County’s drug courts, which are the third-oldest in the nation and have served as an example to other communities of how the justice system can focus on recovery from addiction and saving lives, rather than just locking people up. I’m pleased that the Substance Abuse Prevention Act was included in the final comprehensive opioid legislation and I am committed to continuing to fight for everyone struggling with addiction to get the help they need,” said Deutch.

Overview of Substance Abuse Prevention Act as included in H.R. 6:

Office of National Drug Control Policy—Reauthorizes the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) at the White House, which oversees all Executive Branch efforts on narcotics control, including the development of a national drug control strategy, while ensuring that these efforts strengthen and complement state and local anti-drug activities.

Drug-Free Communities Program—Reauthorizes the Drug-Free Communities Program, one of our nation’s most important programs for preventing youth substance abuse and reducing demand for illicit narcotics at the community level. 

Drug Courts—Reauthorizes Department of Justice funding for drug courts, which are on the front lines of preventing drug addiction through targeted interventions for individuals with drug addiction and substance abuse disorders. This legislation would also allow non-profit organizations to provide important training and technical assistance to drug courts.

High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Forces—Reauthorizes the ONDCP High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program, which provides funding for federal, state and local law enforcement task forces operating in our nation’s most critical drug trafficking regions. This legislation would also improve the program by targeting funds for implementation of a coordinated drug overdose response strategy, including coordination with public health officials and other multi-disciplinary efforts to reduce demand for narcotics and prevent drug abuse. It also provides supplemental grants to law enforcement agencies to protect law enforcement from accidental exposure to dangerous narcotics.

Public Awareness—Allows the ONDCP Director to participate in and expand opioid and heroin awareness campaigns authorized under the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.

Protecting Families with Substance Abuse Challenges—Improves collaboration and provides resources to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help families stay together while battling substance abuse—including through screening, treatment, supportive housing and other interventions.

Better Substance Abuse Treatment—Directs the Government Accountability Office and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to report on improving substance abuse disorder treatment reimbursement to attract a more talented workforce. The bill also encourages better Medicaid substance abuse disorder reimbursement.

Educating Prescribers—Requires Attorney General and HHS Secretary to complete a plan for educating and training medical practitioners in best practices for prescribing controlled substances.

The Substance Abuse Prevention Act has support from the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, the Addiction Policy Forum, the National District Attorneys Association, the National Association for Children of Addiction, the National Association of Police Organizations, the Moyer Foundation, the National Council for Behavioral Health, the Fraternal Order of Police, the National HIDTA Directors Association, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the National Criminal Justice Association and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.