Press Releases

Roe on House Passage of the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act

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Washington D.C., September 28, 2018 | comments

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) released the following statement after voting for passage of H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act: 

“The opioid epidemic is taking lives and destroying families all over the nation – especially in East Tennessee. This bill provides access to critical resources that are badly needed in East Tennessee to fight this crisis and to provide support for those struggling with addiction. Unfortunately, despite the work we have already done, more Tennesseans died from drug overdoses than from car wrecks in 2017; and nationally, this epidemic killed more people last year than the entire number of U.S. casualties in the Vietnam war. This bill will assist in our efforts to fight this life-ending epidemic by improving treatment and recovery of patients; giving law enforcement the resources they need to protect our communities and prevent overdose deaths; and boosting our efforts to crack down on synthetic drugs. Although more work still needs to be done, I am very proud of the progress being made with this bill to help end this crisis.” 

Note: The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act continues the work that was started through the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, and the 21st Century Cures Act, signed into law in the 114th Congress. Congress has also appropriated $4 billion in the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill in March 2018 and $6.7 billion in the Defense-Labor-HHS appropriations package that was passed this week to boost substance abuse programs and support access to mental health services.

Key highlights of this bill include: ensures access to mental health and substance use disorder services for children and pregnant women under the Children’s Health Insurance Program; requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to give best practices and guidance in an effort to improve care for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome; improves guidance for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to address substance abuse with patients; and requires the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to develop guidelines for the prescription of pain medication. A summary and section-by-section of the legislation can be found here.

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