Dozens of bills passed by U.S. House to fight opioid epidemic

The House passed 38 bills that address addiction, recovery and pain management alternatives, with 21 more bills on the calendar

By EMS1 Staff

WASHINGTON — Dozens of bills were recently passed by the U.S. House in an effort to battle the opioid epidemic.

Fox News reported that 38 opioid-related bills were passed, including legislation that addressed addiction, recovery, non-addictive pain management research and more.

“It’s just one story after another of crisis and death and addiction. It’s swept across the country,” Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said. “People didn’t really get its depth and scope and breadth until it was too late.”

One of the bills passed would allow the National Institutes of Health to conduct more research into non-addictive opioid alternatives. Another would call for the Health and Human Services department to create an “electronic dashboard linking to all of the nationwide efforts and strategies to combat the opioid crisis.”

Another bill, named Jessi’s Law after Jessica Grubb, a former heroin addict who died after being prescribed Oxycodone, would make sure medical professionals are aware of a patient’s medical history before prescribing medication.

“But this is not a one-and-done,” Walden said. “This will take a committed, multi-year effort to dramatically change the prescribing behaviors, the treatment modalities, when it comes to pain management.”

There are 21 more opioid-related bills left on the calendar, and Walden said they will be bundled in a way that “will be more manageable for the Senate” once they are passed.

“There’s going to be a lot of back-and-forth with the Senate, with the administration, to perfect what we’ve done and balance what they’ve done and get it on the president’s desk," he said.


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