Join 3:00pm CEPOP April All-Participants Call with ONDCP Acting Director LaBelle

CEPOP will be hosting its April All-Participants Teleconference this afternoon at 3:00pm ET. We’re pleased to be joined by Regina LaBelle, Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and Shelly R. Weizman leading the Addiction & Public Policy Initiative at the O’Neill Institute of Georgetown University Law Center.

CEPOP All-Participants Teleconference (April 2021)

  • To join WebEx, please CLICK HERE
  • Or, to join via conference call:
    • Conference Line: (855) 244-8681
    • Participant Code: 299 655 082

CEPOP Endorses Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Access to Recovery Housing

Last week, CEPOP endorsed bipartisan legislation reintroduced by Representatives David Trone (D-MD-06), Judy Chu (D-CA-27), Mike Levin (D-CA-49), and David McKinley (R-WV-1) to increase the understanding of the quality, effectiveness, and availability of recovery housing. The Excellence in Recovery Housing Act would require the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to develop guidelines for states to promote and expand the availability recovery housing. The legislation would also provide grants to help states implement the guidelines, require the National Academy of Sciences to study recovery housing and develop strategies for increasing the availability of recovery housing, and create a working group chaired by SAMHSA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that will be tasked with collaborating with other federal agencies to promote the availability recovery housing. This bill was previously introduced in the House during the 116th Congress.

Articles & Resources

Representative David Trone – Following Spike in Overdose Deaths, Rep. Trone Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Access to Recovery Housing

Excellence in Recovery Housing Act

House Passes Legislation to Temporarily Extend Fentanyl Schedule 1 Classification

On April 21, the House passed legislation by voice vote to extend the temporary regulation of fentanyl as Schedule 1. Under the new legislation, the temporary regulation, which was set to expire on May 6th, would be extended until October 22nd. Many Republicans have released statements calling for a longer-term solution by making the classification permanent, while some Democrats and criminal justice groups have voiced concerns about the extension, saying that classification of fentanyl as Schedule 1 leads to racial disparities in the criminal justice system and that Congress and the Administration should allow the temporary scheduling to expire and instead focus on efforts centered on harm reduction. The bill will move to the Senate for a vote, but some Senators have introduced competing legislation that propose a longer extension of the temporary scheduling. Senators Charles E. Grassley (R-IA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced legislation to extend the classification through July 6, 2022.

Articles & Resources

Roll Call – House passes temporary extension for regulating fentanyl as Schedule 1 drug

The Hill – House votes to extend ban on fentanyl-like substances

Bloomberg Government – Dueling Fentanyl Ban Extensions Offered

New Video Series Discusses MAT and Disability Protections for Individuals in Recovery

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) have developed a new video series entitled “Civil Rights Protections for Individuals in Recovery from an Opioid Use Disorder.” The five-part series includes webinars and animated videos that provide information on federal disability protections that apply to individuals in recovery from an opioid use disorder, provides an overview of medication assisted therapy (MAT), and addresses the common misconceptions of MAT. In a statement, OCR Acting Director Robinsue Frohboese said, “the Office for Civil Rights has received complaints from individuals in recovery who have experienced discrimination in the child welfare system, based solely on their participation in active treatment like medication-assisted treatment. These new resources are designed to prevent discrimination from occurring by teaching staff in the child welfare system about their obligations under federal civil rights laws and how to carry them out in practical ways.”

Articles & Resources

Complete Video Series

HHS – HHS Introduces New Video Series on Federal Disability Rights Protections That Apply to Some Individuals in Recovery from an Opioid Use Disorder

Bipartisan and Bicameral Legislation Reintroduced to Respond to the Increase in Synthetic Opioid Drug Trafficking

Last week, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and Representatives David Trone (D-MD-06), and Michael McCaul (R-TX-10) reintroduced legislation to increase global collaborations and cooperation to address synthetic drug trafficking. The Fighting Emerging Narcotics Through Additional Nations to Yield Lasting (FENTANYL) Results Act would authorize the State Department to develop programs to support foreign law enforcement to detect synthetic drugs and create an exchange program for international drug demand reduction experts. In a press release, Senator Portman said “this legislation will strengthen State Department data collection on synthetic drug production while increasing international law enforcement capacity. This important effort will help us save lives and mitigate the devastating effects of deadly synthetic opioids, which have impacted families and communities across Ohio and our country.” This bill was previously introduced in the House during the 116th Congress and passed unanimously in the House.

Articles & Resources

Senator Jeanne Shaheen– Shaheen Reintroduces Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Increase Global Cooperation in Fight Against Synthetic Drug Trafficking

FENTANYL Results Act 

Bipartisan Bill Would Allow Patients to Decline Treatment with Opioids

Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced the Non-Opioid Directive (NOD) Act, which would allow patients to let their healthcare providers know if they do not want to be treated with opioids. The NOD Act would require that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) develop a non-opioid pain management form that can be included in the patient’s health record, would require that health plans make the form available to all enrollees and healthcare providers, and would also allow patients to revoke the non-opioid pain management request at any time and for any reason. The bill would also allow for provider exceptions if opioids are deemed medically necessary and would provide liability protections to providers who mistakenly administer opioids. In a press release, Senator Manchin said, “our bipartisan bill will help give patients control over their own treatment by allowing them to notify their doctors if they don’t want to be treated with opioids. This will allow for patients in recovery to avoid a relapse, and creates patient choice if they don’t want to risk taking these potentially addictive medicines. I am proud to introduce this legislation that will save lives by reducing opioid related deaths, and I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense bill.”

Articles & Resources

Senator Joe Manchin – Manchin, Scott bill to allow for patients to decide if they are treated with opioids

NOD Act 

What We Read Last Week

Several articles were published last week pertaining to the opioid epidemic, covering a variety of different components of the issue. Links to relevant articles are provided below.

Articles & Resources

Bloomberg Law – Indiana Passes Vaping Tax, Opioid Settlement Framework Bill

Bloomberg Law – Purdue Must Explain Payouts, Shield for Sacklers, Watchdog Says

CNN – A psychologist’s advice: How to talk to your kids about social media and drug abuse

DEA – Second of Two Defendants Sentenced in Scheme to Steal, Sell Drugs from Nursing Home Patients

EurekAlert! – Opioid vaccine in the works

NPR – Overdose Deaths Surged In Pandemic, As More Drugs Were Laced With Fentanyl

Oregon State University – Efforts to reduce opioid prescriptions may be hindering end-of-life pain management

The Wall Street Journal – Drugmakers Accused of Causing Opioid Addiction in Trial

U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Colorado – Grand Junction Man Convicted of Conspiring to Distribute Fentanyl Resulting in Death

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut – Waterbury Man Sentenced to 29 Months in Federal Prison for Role in Fentanyl and Heroin Trafficking Ring

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana – Two Montana nurse practitioners admit telemedicine scheme to defraud Medicare of more than $18 million

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Hampshire – Chichester Man Sentenced To 21 Months For Fentanyl Trafficking

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey – Five People Charged, Two Others Admit Guilt, in $93 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington – Transnational Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 26 Years in Federal Prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl, Heroin, Methamphetamine, Cocaine and for Money Laundering

This Week’s Calendar

  • Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    Hearings to examine the response to COVID-19, focusing on using lessons learned to address mental health and substance use disorders
    Wednesday, April 28th; 10:00am; Hearing Notice

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