July 8, 2016

Walden applauds passage of bill intended to combat opioid abuse

From U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River:
WASHINGTON, D.C.  – U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) announced today that the U.S. House of Representatives has advanced major legislation to help combat the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S.524) focuses on improving drug abuse treatments, addressing the underlying causes of addiction, and helping those most at risk. The plan is an agreement between the House and Senate and passed the House on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 407-5.
“At the recent roundtables I held in Bend, Medford, and Hermiston, I heard from family members, law enforcement, and treatment specialists who are trying to deal with the growing epidemic of opioid abuse in our communities. The legislation approved by the U.S. House today addresses their core issues, and I’m confident we will be able to make a difference over time,” said Walden. “We can get better access to treatment, we can reduce the number of pills that shouldn’t be out there, and we can save lives. This is a big day to help solve a huge problem throughout Oregon and the country.”  
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act provides state government and local law enforcement more tools to tackle this epidemic head on, including support for increased education, recovery, and treatment efforts.  Click here for a summary of the bill.
This legislation has been met with strong support from local advocates in the fight against opioid abuse. “The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act helps address the opioid crisis that has hit rural eastern Oregon incredibly hard. With this bill, healthcare providers in eastern Oregon will be able to more effectively address the needs of patients suffering from addiction.  I thank Representative Walden for his efforts supporting this bill that throws a life ring to the patients and their families who have been devastated by this disease and to those who provide them care,” saidBaker City physician Dr. Charles Hofmann.
 “This bill is a necessary and critical first step in addressing the opioid epidemic. Too many people have been affected.  Too many people have died.  Swift legislative action is needed.  I am grateful for the collaboration between the medical community and national leaders to save lives.  I hope to continue the conversation to improve access to care and expand on evidence based treatment for chronic non-cancer pain management,” said Bend resident Dr. Kimberly Swanson, Licensed Psychologist/Behavioral Health Consultant, St. Charles Family Care-Redmond & The Center for Women’s Health.
With today’s vote, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act will head to the Senate for final approval before being sent to the President’s desk for signature.

View video of Walden speaking about the bill at www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kNPvhdF1NA.

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