Today, the House of Representatives passed the Family Support Services for Addiction Act (H.R. 433), a crucial step to involve, engage and support families with loved ones struggling with addiction.
The legislation fills a significant gap in federal addiction resources by providing family programs with support and funding for their critical services. It will create a grant program that will invest in the roles of caregivers and families in addressing loved ones’ substance use disorder, empowering them with training, education and peer-to-peer support.
These services are needed more than ever as overdoses have reached record levels in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with the combination of social distancing, increased financial stress, loss of work and uncertainty about the future — coupled with disruption to traditional and local care services — having created a perfect storm for the onset or worsening of mental health and addiction symptoms. It is now more important than ever that we provide resources and support to individuals and their families struggling with addiction.
Family support services include family training and education, family therapy, systems navigation to help families locate or access resources, and crisis and grief support. The evidence is strong that when family members are involved in their loved one’s care and recovery, outcomes are better.
Passing this legislation in the House is a huge step, and we thank Representatives Trone and Meuser, as well as the other bill cosponsors and all members who voted to pass this legislation. Now, we must urge the Senate to do the same. Help get this bill enacted into law by sending a letter to your Senators encouraging them to cosponsor and pass the Family Support Services for Addiction Act (S. 485).