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Jaime Herrera Beutler Helps U.S. House Pass Comprehensive Legislation to Combat Opioid Epidemic; Bill Expected to Head to President’s Desk

In Washington state, overdoses pass traffic accidents as #1 cause of accidental death

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Washington, DC, July 8, 2016 | comments
Today, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler joined her colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in passing the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act by a bipartisan vote of 407-5.
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In 2014, Opioid drug overdoses account for 6 out of 10 drug overdose deaths

Today, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler joined her colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in passing the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act by a bipartisan vote of 407-5. This legislation seeks to better address the national epidemic of addiction to heroin and prescription opioids by targeting the root causes of the crisis, improve addiction prevention, and strengthen treatment for those recovering from addiction. This bill is expected to be passed by the Senate and head to the President’s desk in coming weeks.

The legislation would support states in expanding access to addiction treatment services, and authorize grants to states to carry out a comprehensive opioid abuse response that includes education, treatment and recovery efforts to prevent overdose deaths. The bill also creates an interagency task force on pain management to review and update best practices for chronic and acute pain management —a provision Jaime has long supported. Since 1999, the amount of prescription opioids sold in the U.S. and the number of deaths from prescription opioids have both quadrupled (CDC).

“Drug addiction has a devastating impact on communities throughout Southwest Washington, and in the face of the opioid threat this bill will save lives,” said Jaime. “Opioid addiction has quadrupled since 1999 and it does not differentiate between gender, age, income or politics. I’m proud to have advanced this legislation that will bring real hope for many individuals and families who are being impacted by this tragic epidemic by expanding resources and access to recovery programs and overdose treatments. Importantly, we’re tackling the roots of the opioid crisis by dedicating resources to improve how medicine is prescribed for pain in our country.”

Opioid abuse is a growing epidemic that is impacting Washington state and the rest of the country:
• More people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than any other year on record (CDC).
• More than six out of 10 of those deaths were related to opioid drugs (CDC).
• In Washington state, overdoses pass traffic accidents as the number one cause of accidental death (Washington State Department of Health).
• In 2014, there were about 600 deaths from opioid and heroin overdose deaths in Washington (Washington State Department of Health).
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