House Passes Comprehensive Bipartisan Opioid Conference Report
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Conference Report Accompany to S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act by a bipartisan vote of 407 to 5. The Conference Report still needs to be passed in the U.S. Senate and once passed will go to the President where it is expected he will sign it:
“The House came together in a bipartisan fashion today and passed this Conference Report to take head-on the growing opioid and heroin epidemic that has taken hold within our communities. This epidemic reaches across all socioeconomic backgrounds and age groups. In 2014, the number of heroin-related deaths in Virginia outnumbered those from car accidents. This landmark legislation addresses education and prevention, treatment and services, and interdiction of these deadly drugs.
“Back in April I hosted Nick Yacoub, who grew up in Great Falls, to meet with Speaker Ryan and tell his story of the constant battle of addiction. Nick has been drug-free for over eight years and his story is truly inspiring. As a leader within the recovery community, Nick helps those who are trying to find their way out of the darkness of addiction. With the passage of this comprehensive bill, Nick and others within the recovery community will have more tools to battle the disease of addiction.
“We have held forums in the District with local law enforcement like Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman and local leaders like Fairfax Supervisor Pat Herrity. In Winchester, we have worked with Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition Executive Director Laura Cummings, Winchester Police Chief Kevin Sanzenbacher, and Commonwealth’s Attorney Marc Abrams to get a better understanding of the tools necessary to fight addiction within our community.
“Just yesterday, the House also passed my amendment to transfer $7 million to the critical High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program which provides support to state and federal prosecutors to convict the individuals associated with dangerous drug trafficking organizations in our area. Prince William, Fairfax, and Loudoun Counties are covered under HIDTA, however, the Counties of Clarke, Frederick and the City of Winchester are not. I will continue to fight to get the HIDTA designation for these counties and city so we can begin curbing the dangerous flow of drugs into these communities.”