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Bonamici Plays Key Role as House Considers Dozens of Bills to Address Opioid Crisis

June 13, 2018
Press Release
Calls for New, Long-Term Funding to Match Need

WASHINGTON, DC [06/13/18] – Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), a leader on the Education and the Workforce Committee, managed floor debate and oversaw the passage of five bills developed by the Committee to address the opioid crisis.  This week the House is considering legislation about opioids, with an emphasis on increasing research and collaboration at the federal level and preventing international drug trafficking.

“People are dying every day because of the opioid crisis, and too many people have seen their lives and families ravaged by substance abuse. Legislation passed today by the House will take steps toward helping families, preventing opioid abuse, and increasing treatment and recovery. Every time I hear from Oregonians about this issue, they emphasize the need for more funding and resources to match the scale of this crisis. I’m disappointed that the House did not allocate any new funding to support the important efforts to address and prevent substance abuse in Oregon and across the country. I will continue to call for increased resources so we can do the work that needs to be done to save lives and stop this epidemic.”

Bonamici oversaw the passage of five bills today. These bills will:

  • Support children experiencing trauma as a result of the opioid crisis by providing information and technical assistance to early childhood professionals;
  • Help states improve supports for infants, children, and families coping with the opioid epidemic by providing guidance to states on how to implement effective plans of safe care;
  • Improve coordination and collaboration at the federal level by establishing an interagency task force to recommend ways federal agencies can better coordinate responses;
  • Provide support to the millions of grandparents and other older caregivers across the country who are raising children; and,
  • Address the effects of substance use disorder on the workplace by establishing an advisory committee on Opioids and the Workplace.

Bonamici held community discussions about the opioid crisis in each county she represents to hear directly from local experts and families in the throes of addiction. She toured treatment facilities to speak with people in recovery, and met with parents, health care professionals, community leaders, and veterans. In April, Bonamici released a report titled “Fighting for Our Communities: Overcoming the Opioid Crisis.” The report encapsulates what she heard from NW Oregonians and identifies her priorities to improve prevention, treatment and recovery, pain management, innovation, and disposal.

Bonamici also announced new legislation, The Safe Disposal of Opioids Act (HR 5557), to make it easier to dispose of unused medications. The bill will create a grant program to help pharmacies and other qualified locations install and maintain drug disposal bins. To hold pharmaceutical companies that manufacture opioids accountable for their role in the crisis, the bill requires them to fund the grants through a small fee on opioids they sell.