Center City, Minn. (Nov. 29, 2016)—The Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy praised the inclusion of funding to address the opioid epidemic in the 21st Century Cures legislative package and urged the House and Senate to pass it quickly.
"The opioid crisis continues to devastate lives, families and communities throughout America, and aggressive action like this important funding is long overdue," said Nick Motu, vice president of the Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy.
"The Surgeon General recently sounded the alarm bells we've been ringing for years, and on the heels of his historic report on addiction, we urge Congress to pass this critical support for opioid addiction treatment quickly," continued Motu, who noted substance use disorders affect nearly a third of American families, and more people die from drug overdose than from car crashes.
The 21st Century Cures legislation authorizes $1 billion for the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide states with grants to address the opioid problem. Funding will be given to the state-based organizations responsible for administering the Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention block grants. Grant funding can be put toward a variety of programs to address the opioid epidemic, including state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs; prevention activities; prescriber training; community education; health care services such as opioid treatment programs; and other public health-related activities.
"As a national leader, the Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy has long been pushing a comprehensive series of policy priorities on opioids," said Motu. "As Congress wraps up its work, this response to one of America's most pressing issues would be a notable achievement."
"We earlier supported the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) bill and are happy that important legislation laid the groundwork for potential consensus around the opioid funding in this legislation," said Motu.
The House is expected to vote on the legislation on Wednesday, November 30, and the Senate next week.
About the Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy
Our mission is to provide a leading national voice on all issues related to addiction prevention, treatment and recovery and to facilitate conversation among those in recovery, those still suffering and society at large. We are committed to smashing stigma, shaping public policy and educating people everywhere about the problems of addiction and the promise of recovery. The Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy is part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation's largest nonprofit treatment provider. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation has 17 sites in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Colorado and Texas. Learn more at www.HBFinstitute.org and on Twitter@hbfinstitute.