On Monday, September 17, the Senate passed a bipartisan, comprehensive opioids package, "The Opioid Crisis Response Act." The package which includes 70 provisions, support from numerous Congressional committees and contributions from over 70 representatives, is in its final stages as the Senate and House seek compromises and agreements.
This year, Congress has already appropriated $4.7 billion in new funding to prevent and treat addiction. This new package takes the response much further, providing new measures that range from combatting the opioids supply chain to supporting children impacted by addiction. The House and Senate will now need to come to a final agreement on an opioids package and any funding allocations to States for implementation.
This legislation is essential for addressing and preventing opioid addiction in our communities. Please consider calling or emailing your representatives and using these talking points to show support for two important provisions in the Senate bill, section(s) 1414 and 1514 of the Opioid Crisis Response Act (S.2680).
- Dear Senator/Representative ______, I know the House and Senate are finalizing conference negotiations on the opioids package, S. 2680 – The Opioid Crisis Response Act, right now.
- I want you to know that there are two important provisions in the Senate bill that we care about: Sec. 1414: Plans of Safe Care, and Sec. 1514: Grants to improve trauma support services and mental health care for children and youth in educational settings.
- As you know, the opioid crisis has taken a significant toll on children and families.
- In states across the country, thousands more children are entering foster care and experiencing trauma as a result of their parents’ substance use.
- Every 19 minutes, an infant is born dependent on opioids with neonatal abstinence syndrome.
- Sec. 1414 provides support for states to collaborate and improve plans of safe care for substance-exposed infants allowing states to use funds to coordinate with various agencies responsible for child and family wellbeing, develop policies and procedures, train health care and child welfare professionals, and establish partnerships.
- Schools, early childhood programs, afterschool programs, and child welfare agencies need more resources and support to help children cope with these challenges.
- Both of these grants are critical to help address the ripple effects of the opioid crisis on children and families.
- The “ASK” to House & Senate Leadership is: These grants are a priority for me. Can you make sure they are included in the final package?
- The “ASK” to rank and file Members of Congress is: Can you call House leadership and let them know these are a priority for you?
Take action now by sending the talking points to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)