E&C Passes Mental Health Bill that Includes Provisions to Respond to the Opioid Crisis

Last Wednesday, the House Committee on Energy & Commerce voted to approve the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022 (H.R. 7666). The bill, which is led by committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), reauthorizes mental health and substance use disorder programs at the Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The bill includes provisions related to the opioid crisis, including ending a requirement for providers to obtain a special waiver in order to prescribe buprenorphine and adding a training requirement for all prescribers managing patients with opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders. Although a floor vote has not been scheduled, it is likely to take place in the next several weeks.

Articles & Resources

House Committee on Energy & Commerce – Section by Section Summary of H.R. 7666

$1.5B in New SAMHSA Grants for States to Address Opioid and Overdose Epidemic

On May 19, the Biden Administration announced the State Opioid Response (SOR) grant opportunity for states and territories to receive a portion of $1.5 billion in SAMHSA funding to support their efforts to address the opioid crisis. This funding will be issued to all states and territories for use in developing programs to increase access to medications to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) as well as other prevention and support services for OUD. States can apply by July 18 for funding to support projects up to two years in duration. The funding will be issued before the September 30, 2022—the end of the federal fiscal year—and will include set-aside amounts for states with the highest OUD-related mortality rates.

Articles & Resources

HHS – Biden Administration Announces $1.5 Billion Funding Opportunity for State Opioid Response Grant Program

SAMHSA – Notice of Funding Opportunity: Sate Opioid Response Grants

Bloomberg Law – Biden’s HHS Allocates $1.5 Billion for State Opioid Responses

What We Read Last Week

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

Ad Council – The Ad Council to Take On Overdose Crisis Through New Coordinated National Public Awareness Efforts

New York Times – Overdose Deaths Continue Rising, With Fentanyl and Meth Key Culprits

Bloomberg Government – Drug-Abuse Spike Hampered US Labor Market Recovery, Paper Says

Federal Trade Commission – FTC hits R360 and its Owner with $3.8 Million Civil Penalty Judgment for Preying on People Seeking Treatment for Addiction

University of Utah – Making Opioids Safer, One Patient at a Time

Open Access Government – Research combats rise of drug overdose deaths by addressing stigma

Senator Dick Durbin – Durbin Meets With Will County To Talk Federal Funding For Opioid Intervention, Infrastructure, And Local Programs

Congressman Henry Cuellar – Cuellar Secures Nearly $400K for PILLAR to Enhance Overdose and Prevention Activities

U.S. News – Vermont Law Creates Panel, Fund for Opioid Settlement

Law360 – Doctors’ Opioid Data Kept From Walgreens Stores, Judge Told

The Commonwealth Fund – Too Many Lives Lost: Comparing Overdose Mortality Rates and Policy Solutions Across High-Income Countries

New York Times – Fentanyl Tainted Pills Bought on Social Media Cause Youth Drug Deaths to Soar

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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