Opioids bills pass House; legislation would seek to add oversight, resources

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Five opioid epidemic-related bills backed by 22nd District Congressman Anthony Brindisi recently passed the House, Brindisi announced.

The bills are intended to improve oversight on opioid distribution, expand local resources for people with substance abuse disorder, combat trafficking in the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

They include:

• State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act of 2020: Requires the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a grant program to address substance use disorders, including opioid and stimulant use disorders, in states.

• Easy Medication Access and Treatment for Opioid Addiction Act: Limits to a three-day supply the amount of narcotic drugs that can be dispensed to one person for one person’s use at one time for maintenance treatment of cancer, detoxification, or both.

The bill requires the Drug Enforcement Administration to revise regulations to allow a practitioner to administer up to a three-day supply of such rugs to a person to relieve acute withdrawal symptoms while waiting for addiction treatment.

• DEBAR Act of 2020: Authorizes the Attorney General to prohibit any person from being registered to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance if the person has had a previous registration suspended or revoked.

• Ensuring Compliance Against Drug Diversion Act of 2019: Terminates “registrant” status under the Controlled Substances Act if the registrant dies, discontinues business, or surrenders the registration.

This will limit the transfer of registrations to manufacture, distribute, or dispense controlled substances.

• FENTANYL Results Act: Directs the State Department to establish programs to work with foreign countries to combat international fentanyl trafficking. The measure would allocate federal funds to help countries with major synthetic drug operations improve their forensics detection capabilities and expand educational resources to reduce demand for illegal narcotics and other drugs.

Brindisi was awarded the Voice for Non-Opioid Choices award by Voices for Non-Opioid Choices, a national advocacy group dedicated to preventing opioid addiction, earlier this fall. In 2019, President Donald Trump signed Brindisi’s Fentanyl Sanctions Act which cracks down on foreign countries like China for their role in fentanyl trafficking.

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