Lujan Grisham Proposes Bill to Require Opioid Producers to Pay for Treatment, Prevention, Research
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham introduced legislation today to create a permanent source of funding for opioid treatment, prevention and research.
The Heroin and Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act would require opioid producers and manufacturers to pay 1-cent for every milligram of opioids they produce. The tax would generate about $2 billion in revenue a year to expand access to substance abuse treatment and prevention programs, as well as fund new research on combating the opioid epidemic.
“The opioid epidemic has killed too many people, ripped too many families apart, and destroyed too many communities,” Rep. Lujan Grisham said. “Our law enforcement agencies and health care providers are already overburdened and stretched to their limits. People are dying because they do not have the help they need. My bill will help fund the programs necessary to fight this epidemic.”
The revenue will be used to:
• Research better strategies to treat addicts, prevent opioid addiction, and develop new pain management techniques;
• Provide medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders;
• Establish new addiction treatment and sober living facilities;
• Recruit and increase reimbursement for certified mental health providers who provide substance abuse treatment in underserved communities;
• Improve prescription drug monitoring programs;
• Expand access to long-term residential treatment programs for addicts; and
• Create an opioid take-back program.
To read the text of the bill, click here.
Facts about opioid abuse:
• 78 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses.
• Last year, New Mexico had the second highest overdose death rate in the country.
• Nationwide opioid overdose deaths increased by 210% from 1999 to 2014.
This past summer, Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). While this was an important first step, millions continue to suffer because there is not enough funding to combat the crisis. Without funding these programs, more parents will have to bury their children, and more children will be left parentless.