The U.S. Senate this week voted 99-1 to approve legislation designed to combat the nation’s opioid crisis, NBC News reports. Senator Mike Lee of Utah, a Republican, was the only senator to vote against the measure.
The Senate Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, comprised of 70 bills, is similar to legislation passed by the House in June. The Senate package directs funding to federal agencies to establish or expand programs dealing with prevention, treatment and recovery.
The package includes the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, which aims to crack down on fentanyl shipments from entering the United States. The measure requires the U.S. Postal Service to collect electronic information on merchandise that arrives in the United States. This would allow customs inspectors to screen packages for fentanyl and other contraband.
TELL CONGRESS: Include Substance Use Screening in Final Opioid Bill
Following this week’s Senate passed legislation to address the opioid crisis, leaders from the Senate and House are meeting now to work out the differences between the Senate bill and the House version. While both bills address numerous issues, they do little to address prevention especially for middle and high school students.
We know that addiction can be prevented with early screening and intervention and we hope that you will join with us to urge Congressional leaders to add guidelines and best practices for screening for substance use to the final bill language.