The United States Congress is getting involved in the prescription drug epidemic facing the nation.
The House of Representatives recently approved 18 different bills that will provide for funding of policies to stop prescription drug abuse. Much of the funding will come in the form of federal grants to local agencies that will combat painkiller addiction through drug treatment programs and additional law enforcement resources being committed to the fight against drug trafficking operations throughout the US, including New Jersey and New York.
The legislation was approved overwhelmingly in the House. The bipartisan support for the prescription opioid-related laws is likely a byproduct of the need for legislators to show their constituents that they are committed to stopping the prescription drug epidemic, particularly with elections on the horizon and drug abuse getting a great deal of media attention in recent months.
Now that the prescription painkiller bills have been passed in the House, it is expected that the US Senate will begin to discuss ways to tailor the laws so that they can gain approval from both Democrats and Republicans before heading to the desk of President Obama for Executive approval. At this time, some Democratic leaders in the Senate are complaining that the laws do not go far enough to combat prescription drug addiction because they fail to provide the funding needed for effective drug treatment programs.
Health experts and drug treatment advocates also said that the proposed laws need to be shaped in order to truly stop drug addiction. For example, Robert Morrison, executive director of the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, stated that the laws are “a very important start,” but more money will be needed to fight the prescription painkiller epidemic. Moreover, said Morrison, lawmakers need to ensure that there is “sustained focus and attention” on the drug problems facing people and communities across the country.
For additional information, read the Yahoo.com article, “House, Senate Hope to Craft Quick Anti-Drug Abuse Compromise.”
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