October 3, 2018

Six Young-Led Opioid Bills Head to President to Be Signed Into Law

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) voted to advance the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. The legislation, which contains six provisions that were introduced or co-led by Senator Young, passed the Senate on a 98-1 vote today after passing the U.S. House of Representatives last Friday. The bill now heads to President Trump to be signed into law.

“The opioid crisis is one of the most urgent health emergencies we face today,” said Senator Young. “Congress has taken steps to help curb this epidemic by appropriating billions of dollars, and now passing this comprehensive legislation to better understand and treat opioid addiction. While this is a significant accomplishment, more work remains. I will continue working with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure we are doing everything possible to tackle this public health emergency.”

The bipartisan legislative package that was passed by both the House and Senate authorizes funding for states to continue fighting the opioid epidemic, provides more authority for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to research, develop, and bring to market non-addictive, non-opioid alternatives, and helps the U.S. Postal Service stop illegal drug shipments at the border.

The legislation includes the following six provisions that were introduced or co-led by Senator Young:

  • The Dr. Todd Graham Pain Management Improvement Act of 2018 (S.3008), which is named for Todd A. Graham, M.D. – a South Bend doctor killed after refusing to prescribe an opioid. The bill was introduced by Senator Young and Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), and aims to reduce overprescribing of opioids by examining ways to expand the use of non-opioid alternatives in Medicare.
  • The Eliminating Opioid-Related Infectious Diseases Act of 2018 (S.2579), which aims to prevent and respond to infections commonly associated with injection drug use, including viral hepatitis and HIV. This legislation will support state and federal efforts to collect data on such infections and identify and assist patients who may be at increased risk of infection.
  • The Jobs Plus Recovery Act (S. 2642), which incorporates job training into drug addiction recovery programs. The bipartisan legislation would establish a pilot program that gives individuals impacted by opioid addiction or substance use disorders access to job training and support services to aid in their recovery and lower their likelihood of relapse.