Washington, D.C.– Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) voted in support of H.R. 5046 -- the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act. This bipartisan legislation would address the four corners of addiction: prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement. It would provide an expansive framework for tackling this crisis, including expanded prevention and education efforts to prevent abuse, increased resources for law enforcement and first responders, and additional resources for drug courts, veterans’ treatment courts, and other non-prison diversion programs.

“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. “The legislation we have passed this week takes critical steps to prevent drug abuse, give law enforcement the tools they need to combat it and give communities and health professionals resources for treatment. These efforts are not the end of the House’s work on this issue— we will continue to seek innovative solutions to this crisis that has touched families across my district and across our nation.”

Background: Addiction to prescription painkillers, heroin, and other forms of opioids has increased at an alarming rate in recent years. The number of Americans addicted to heroin is nearly three times higher than a decade ago. In 2013, over 40,000 Americans died from a drug overdose, nearly 2 million Americans were addicted to opioid-based prescription painkillers, and over 500,000 were addicted to heroin.

H.R. 5046 – Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act

Summary: The bill creates a comprehensive opioid abuse reduction program at the Department of Justice, which will direct federal resources for drug abuse programs directly at the opioid problem. This bill will give states and localities flexibility to attack opioid abuse issues unique to their communities. The bill establishes a streamlined, yet comprehensive opioid abuse grant program that encompasses a variety of new and existing programs, such as training and resources for first responders and law enforcement, criminal investigations for the unlawful distribution of opioids, drug courts, and residential substance abuse treatment.

H.R. 5046 authorizes the appropriation of $103 million annually over the 2017-2021 period for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to make grants to state, local, and tribal governments for programs to combat opioid abuse. H.R. 5046 is fully offset from reductions in existing programs. The result is no net increase in spending authorizations.

Additional Information:

Stefanik Speaks on Devastating Heroin and Opioid Epidemic on House Floor

Stefanik on Medium: Combating the Tragic Heroin & Opioid Abuse Epidemic

Katko, Stefanik join efforts to stem heroin, synthetic drug abuse (Commentary)