Sep 17 2018
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) voted for a comprehensive package to respond to the opioid epidemic that is devastating communities across America.
This latest step taken by Congress to address the nation’s opioid crisis provides law enforcement with additional tools to combat the spread of opioids, helps Americans struggling with addiction and expands research into non-addictive pain treatments.
In a speech on the Senate floor, Boozman said “the comprehensive response to this crisis shows how committed we are as a nation to combatting opioid addiction.”
Boozman specifically praised the bill’s expansion of a grant program to train first responders administering naloxone—the drug that can be used to block the effects of opioids and prevent deaths from an overdose—by highlighting the lives it has saved in Arkansas.
“Since 2017, the Arkansas Naloxone Project has trained more than 3,300 first responders to administer the drug. This effort has saved at least 142 lives. The program continues to grow. It is working. Other states can replicate the success we’ve seen in Arkansas by using grant funds to train first responders,” Boozman said.
Among the highlights of this package are provisions that:
- Combat illegal drugs at the border, including additional measure to crack down on the shipment of synthetic opioids;
- Encourage recovery by supporting states’ efforts to address substance use disorders by increasing access to medication-assisted treatment, health professionals, long-distance care and recovery housing services;
- Support caregivers and families by improving plans of safe care and support for substance-exposed babies and their mothers and increasing family-focused treatment and recovery; and
- Drive innovation and long-term solutions aimed at spurring development of new non-addictive painkillers and ensuring parity in mental health and substance use disorder benefits.