WASHINGTON – In an effort to continue the ongoing fight against opioid addiction in Connecticut and around the country, United States Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) signed on to ten new pieces of legislation. These bills help to reduce abuse and provide better training for first responders and medical practitioners to treat people with substance abuse disorders (SUDs). Each of these ten bills is a targeted, highly impactful attempt to marshal federal resources. More than a third of the bills are bipartisan.
“One of my biggest priorities in Congress is taking action to curb the opioid crisis threatening my community and so many communities around the country,” said Congresswoman Jahana Hayes. “The ten new bills I joined today are a major part of that effort. Each one is a meaningful step towards addressing opioid addiction in America. I thank my colleagues for their hard work and commitment to finding solutions on this critical issue. I look forward to continued collaboration with advocates and stakeholders in Connecticut’s fifth district to address this dire problem.”
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, in 2017, more than 950 people died of opioid-related deaths in Connecticut, amounting to almost 30 people for every 100,000. That death rate was more than twice the national average.
The ten new bills are:
H.R. 4631 Excise Narcotics Distribution in the Epidemic Act: This bill imposes an excise tax on opioid manufacturers, producers, or importers and provides for grants to states for research and abuse prevention and treatment.
H.R. 3180 RISE from Trauma Act: The bipartisan RISE from Trauma Act increases support for children who have been exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma, such as witnessing violence, parental addiction, or abuse. This bill would help create a trauma informed workforce and increase resources for communities to support children who have experienced trauma as a result of opioid crisis.
H.R. 2466 State Opioid Response Grant Authorization: This legislation authorizes State Opioid Response (SOR) Grants and Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) Grants for 5 years. These grants provide states and tribal organizations with significant and much-needed resources to respond to the opioid epidemic.
H.R. 3591 Campus Prevention and Recovery Services Act: This bill amends the Higher Education Act to help implement evidence-based programs to prevent alcohol and substance abuse on campuses and support those with substance use disorders.
H.R. 2734 Safer Prescribing of Controlled Substances Act: The bipartisan Safer Prescribing of Controlled Substances Act requires all individuals applying for a federal license to prescribe controlled substances to complete mandatory education encouraging responsible practices. The training would focus on best practices for pain management and alternative non-opioid therapies, methods for diagnosing and treating a substance use disorder, linking patients to evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders, and tools to manage adherence and diversion of controlled substances.
H.R. 2062 Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act: By ensuring medical providers have access to substance use disorder victims, this bipartisan bill empowers medical practitioners to make more qualified decisions as to treatments and therapies.
H.R. 2732 Lessening Addiction by Enhancing Labeling (LABEL) Opioids Act: This bill requires labeling prescription opioid bottles with a consistent, clear, and concise warning that opioids may cause dependence, addiction, or overdose.
H.R. 3820 Effective Drug Control Strategy Act: The Effective Drug Control Strategy Act requires the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to evaluate the efficacy of federally-funded initiatives aimed at reducing demand for illicit substances, and to publish information online on these initiatives in a central location where it is easily accessible to the public.
H.R. 2698 Law Enforcement Training for Mental Health Crisis Response Act: This bipartisan bill provides $15 million in funding over 3 years to help train police on how best to interact with individuals suffering with mental health illnesses, including substance abuse disorders.
H.R. 4974 Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act: This bill standardizes substance use disorder training to ensure all prescribers of controlled medications possess baseline knowledge in evidence-based addiction prevention and treatment.
Rep. Jahana Hayes has been a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year. Currently serving her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District.