ONTARIO — Since June, the House has passed several bills to address the nation’s growing opioid crisis. According to information in a report by the National Center of Health Statistics, opioids — such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and fentanyl — accounted for more than 42,000 fatalities in the U.S. in 2016. Opioids currently account for 115 deaths each day, according to a news release from Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River.
He and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., are both hailing the Senate for its passage on Tuesday of the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, which includes 70 bipartisan bills. Walden, who is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the legislation was critical, as it is “taking the lives of more Oregonians than traffic accidents.” “With the House’s overwhelmingly bipartisan passage of my legislation, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act in June, the Senate’s actions clear the way for the House and Senate to iron out the differences in our proposals.” Walden said the passage of Opioid Crisis Response Act was an important step forward in a “collective fight to end this epidemic.” The act includes policies from “the Wyden-led Helping to End Addiction and Lessen (HEAL) Substance Use Disorders Act of 2018,” which was passed unanimously by the Senate Finance Committee in June. The HEAL Act contains key reforms to family services, Medicare and Medicaid programs in order to address the nation’s ongoing opioid crisis, reads a release from Wyden’s office. The legislation will now be negotiated with a similar bill passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year. “As the opioid epidemic continues to reach further into the hearts of communities and families in Oregon and across the country, this legislation represents an important step towards alleviating the devastation left behind by this disease,” Wyden said in a news release from his office. “Congress has an ongoing obligation to take on the roots of the crisis and ensure treatment, prevention and enforcement efforts are all as robust as possible, and this bill is a strong start. I will work to ensure these policies become law and begin to help those who are suffering as soon as possible.” The House passed dozens of individual bills to combat the opioid crisis in June, the vast majority of which were included in Walden’s legislation, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6), according to Walden’s news release.
“H.R. 6 is a bipartisan bill that will help in our overall efforts to combat the opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, improving prevention, protecting our communities, and bolstering our efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl,” Walden said.
the legislation was critical, as it is “taking the lives of more Oregonians than traffic accidents.” Said Walden, who is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
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Lawmakers applaud passage of opioid act, which has 70 bipartisan bills
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