Rounds Statement on Senate Passage of Comprehensive Legislation to Address Opioid Epidemic
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today made the following statement after the Senate voted to pass the Opioid Crisis Response Act, a comprehensive bill to address the growing opioid epidemic in the United States:
“The legislation we passed today takes an important step toward ending the heartbreaking issue of opioid addiction,” said Rounds. “Opioid addiction does not discriminate—it can affect men and women of all ages and of all races, in any town in the United States, including in South Dakota. Many times, addiction starts with a legal painkiller prescription from a doctor following surgery or to manage chronic pain. Because opioids are highly addictive, they can easily lead to abuse. When the prescription runs out, people attempt to buy them illegally on the street or turn to dangerous substances such as heroin or fentanyl. I’m pleased that we were able to pass the Opioid Crisis Response Act and I urge the president to sign it into law so those suffering from addiction can get the help they need as quickly as possible.”
The Opioid Crisis Response Act will:
o Reduce use and supply by helping to stop drugs at the border and providing grants to states to better share monitoring program data;
o It will encourage recovery by providing support to states and tribes, establishing recovery centers and improving access to health professionals, tele-health services and long-distance care, and recovery housing services;
o It includes support for caregivers and families and promotes family-focused treatment and recovery; and
o It seeks to drive innovation and long-term solutions by supporting advancements in cutting-edge research to spur discovery and development of new non-addictive painkillers and address economic and workforce impacts, among other things.