Senate Appropriations Committee Advances Funding Bills with Opioid-related Provisions to Senate Floor

Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee agreed to move two Fiscal Year 2022 funding bills that include funding for opioid initiatives – the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Act and the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies (Agriculture-FDA) Appropriations Act – to the Senate floor. The MilCon Act includes funding for veterans’ medical care, including $621.3 million for opioid use prevention and treatment. The Agriculture-FDA funding bill includes increases in funding for initiatives within the Food and Drug Administration that address the opioid epidemic, including $62 million for International Mail Facilities to screen for illegal opioids and prevent them from entering the market.

Articles & Resources

United States Senate Committee on Appropriations – SUMMARY: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2022

United States Senate Committee on Appropriations – Senate Committee Approves FY22 MilCon-VA Appropriations Bill

Senate Passes Residential Substance Use Treatment Legislation

On July 30th, the Senate passed the bipartisan Residential Substance Use Disorder Treatment Act. The bill, introduced by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) in March, would expand the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) for State Prisoners Program by improving residential substance use disorder treatment programs in correctional facilities and establishing programs that would allow people with substance use disorder to continue their treatment after reentering the community. In a press release, co-sponsor Senator Maggie Hassan said, “we need to do everything that we can to expand substance use disorder treatment to all who need it. As individuals prepare for re-entry into society, we must take a 360 degree look at the issues they face, including substance use disorder. In doing so, we can help improve public safety and public health for communities and address some of the factors that can impact recidivism.”

Articles & Resources

Residential Substance Use Disorder Treatment Act of 2021

Senator Maggie Hassan – Senate Passes Hassan-Supported Effort to Increase Access to Substance Use Disorder Treatment in Jails and Prisons

HHS to Provide $85.5 Million for Rural Opioid Response Programs

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it will award $90 million to address key rural health issues, including $85.5 million for community-based opioid use disorder and substance use disorder programs. The funding will be provided through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, which will distribute the awards through two Rural Communities Opioid Response Programs. The Implementation Program will award $78 million to reduce substance use disorder and opioid use disorder morbidity and mortality through expanded prevention, treatment, and recovery services. The Psychostimulant Support Program will award $7.5 million to expand psychostimulant misuse prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts.

Articles & Resources

HHS – Biden-Harris Administration Provides $90 Million to Improve Health Care in Rural Communities

ONDCP Announces $2.5M Supporting State-Level Model Legislation

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) announced that it has awarded $2.5 million through its Model Acts Program to the Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association (LAPPA). The funding will be used to draft evidence-based, state-level model legislation that would expand access to harm reduction and drug treatment services in underserved communities, decrease substance use disorder stigma, and develop strategies for addressing fentanyl trafficking. ONDCP’s Model Acts Program funds research and analysis to guide states on establishing evidence-based policies and laws that address substance use prevent, treatment, and recovery.

Articles & Resources

The White House – ONDCP Funds Research to Support Evidence-Based State Drug Policies and Laws

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

City of Philadelphia – Mayor Signs Executive Order to Decriminalize Fentanyl Test Strips

Governor Tom Wolf – Governor Wolf Signs 15th Opioid Disaster Declaration

Health Affairs – The New Mobile Methadone Rules And What They Mean For Treatment Access

JAMA – Association of Dose Tapering With Overdose or Mental Health Crisis Among Patients Prescribed Long-term Opioids

JAMA – Opioid Tapering Practices—Time for Reconsideration?

Medpage Today – Opioid Tapering Carries Significant Risks

National Bureau of Economic Research – Recreational Marijuana Laws and the Use of Opioids: Evidence from NSDUH Microdata

Philanthropy News Digest – Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts Issues RFP for Preventing Opioid Use Disorder and Overdose

STAT – Punishing drug use heightens the stigma of addiction

STAT – With the tobacco settlement, the U.S. missed its moment to fortify public health. We can’t make that mistake with the opioid settlement

The Pew Charitable Trusts – Cultural Competency a Key Component of Substance Use Treatment Services

UC Davis Health – Is reducing opioids for pain patients linked to higher rates of overdose and mental health crisis?

This Week’s Calendar

In the week ahead, there are no relevant events or hearings noticed at this time. In the event that there are any changes to the schedule for this week, we will make additional information available.

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