March 9, 2016

Far-Reaching Addiction Bill Clears Final Procedural Hurdle in Senate

Whitehouse Cheers Senate Action on Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

Washington, DC – Key legislation to combat the addiction crisis unfolding throughout the country cleared a final procedural hurdle in the Senate today, setting up a vote on passage tomorrow.  Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), author of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, applauded the vote of 93-3 in favor of ending debate on the bill.

“I’m very glad we could advance this important legislation.  This vote brings us closer to passing far-reaching legislation to give the scores of communities around the country battling the consequences of opioid drug abuse the tools they need to prevent and treat addiction and aid those in recovery.  I thank Senator Portman and all the bipartisan cosponsors of this bill for helping us arrive at this point.  I look forward to its passage tomorrow,” said Whitehouse.

The Whitehouse bill would provide states better tools to prevent drug abuse, treat addiction, and reduce overdose deaths.  Whitehouse and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced the bill in February 2015.  The legislation passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee last month with broad bipartisan support.

Emergency room visits linked to misuse or abuse of prescription opioids are up by more than 50 percent since 2004; over 10 million Americans reported using prescription opioids for nonmedical purposes in 2014; and national rates of death from opioid-related overdose are almost four times higher than they were in 2000, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. 


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