Published On: Fri, Jun 17th, 2016

It's Time for Congress to Provide the Funding We Need for the Opioid Epidemic

Prescription drug abuse and heroin use have taken a heartbreaking toll on too many Americans and their families, while straining resources of law enforcement and treatment programs. More Americans now die every year from drug overdoses than they do in motor vehicle crashes.

The President has made clear that addressing the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic is a priority for his Administration, and has proposed to invest $1.1 billion in new funding to make sure that every American with an opioid use disorder who seeks treatment can get the help needed.

Congress has been voting on various pieces of legislation related to the opioid epidemic, but so far has not provided the resources needed to make treatment available to everyone who wants it.

Yesterday, a majority of Senators—both Republicans and Democrats–voted in favor of developing a final bill that provides enough money for prevention, treatment, and recovery to address the opioid epidemic (You can see how Senators voted HERE).  A few members of Congress will be negotiating the final legislation in the coming days (Those “conferees” are listed HERE). But they are not bound by the Senate vote to provide funding, and they haven’t agreed on the actual amount of funding to provide.

The President has said he wants to sign legislation that includes $1.1 billion in new funding to help Americans who want treatment get it wherever they live. This map shows how much new funding for treatment each State could potentially qualify for if Congress passes what the President has requested: 

Opioids funding

Recovery from opioid and other substance use disorders is possible, and many Americans are able to recover because they get the treatment and care they need. But too many still do not get treatment and care. That’s why the President continues to call on Congress to provide the resources to ensure that every American who wants treatment can get it and start the road to recovery. 

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