Senate Passes Final Version of Opioid Bill

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The Senate on Wednesday passed the final version of a package of bills designed to address the opioid crisis, The Washington Post reports. It will now go to the White House for President Trump’s signature.

The vote was 98 to 1, with only Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R) opposing it. The legislation includes law enforcement and public health measures, the article notes. One bill 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.

Another provision will allow nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialists to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid addiction, while a third could make it easier for people who receive Medicaid to get inpatient care for substance use disorders over the next five years. The bill would also provide funds to research and develop new non-addictive painkillers.

Heroin & the Opioid Epidemic: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Heroin-related deaths increased by more than five times between 2010 and 2017, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are seeing a sharp rise as well.

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