House Passes Comprehensive Bipartisan Opioid Legislation
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (VA-10) and Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the House Amendment to S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act by a bipartisan vote of 400 to 5:
“I am pleased the House passed bipartisan legislation to confront the growing opioid and heroin epidemic facing our community. This epidemic reaches across all socioeconomic backgrounds and age groups from the very young to seniors across the country and right here in our very own community. This legislation addresses education and prevention, treatment and services, and interdiction of these deadly drugs. We have held forums throughout the District addressing the heroin epidemic where we have brought the community together to discuss the challenges we face and how we can coordinate services and efforts. One such story was from Nick Yacoub, who is from Great Falls and has battled addiction. Nick has been drug free for over eight years and is now a leader within the recovery community and has helped others by steering them off the dangerous and deadly path of drugs.
“As has been stated repeatedly by law enforcement we cannot arrest our way out of this public health crisis. The comprehensive and bipartisan legislation the House passed today will empower all levels of government, all community stakeholders, and even family units to take on this devastating plague that is destroying lives and relationships in Northern Virginia and across the nation,” said Congresswoman Barbara Comstock
“The heroin overdose problem has become severe and we need all of the tools possible at our disposal to address it in a comprehensive fashion. By providing measures for treatment and resources for programs to combat opioid abuse, this comprehensive legislation will go a long way in providing the law enforcement community and other stakeholders the tools they need to effectively attack this problem,” said Loudoun County (Va.) Sheriff Michael L. Chapman.
In March, the Senate passed S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which was the upper chamber’s approach to the opioid and opiate epidemic. This week, the House of Representatives passed a series of smaller bills, each designed to address a specific facet of this grave issue. The House’s efforts culminated in a vote to combine its bills into a single package and another vote to use that package to amend the Senate legislation. Finally, the House passed a Motion to Go to Conference so that the two chambers can reconcile the differences between their approaches.