Washington, D.C. –Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, has cosponsored H.R. 5956, the Youth Opioid Use Treatment Help (YOUTH) Act of 2016. The YOUTH Act would expand access to medication-assisted treatment for adolescents and young adults suffering from opioid dependence.

“Heroin abuse touches our communities, our homes and our families in ways that have grave effects on everyday people and everyday lives,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Substance abuse at a young age can have especially devastating consequences. This important bill will help ensure that our federal government continues to work to give our youth access to the treatment they need. As a Member of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, I am committed to working to end the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic that affects far too many North Country families.”

Legislative Specifics:

The bill would help expand access to medication-assisted treatments by:

1.         Reauthorizing and broadening eligibility for substance use treatment services for children, adolescents, and young adults under the Public Health Service Act;

2.         Authorizing the creation of demonstration programs to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for adolescents and young adults with opioid use disorders, and appropriations of $5 million to fund those programs;

3.         Directing the GAO to conduct a study on the existing federal programs addressing substance use among adolescents and young adults and any gaps in the available research on those subjects; and

4.         Directing the Department of Health and Human Services to report to Congress on the effectiveness of the demonstration programs, as well as any unintended consequences of those programs, such as abuse or diversion.