Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) today voted in support of the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, legislation that makes critical reforms to address the nation’s opioid epidemic.
The bill, which passed the House in a 407-5 vote, includes a variety of reforms Larsen has called for including expanding access of lifesaving opioid reversal drugs such as naloxone as well as improving pain management and prescription practices. However, the bill does not fulfill President Obama’s $1.1 billion funding request which Larsen pressed for earlier this year.
“The opioid crisis is devastating families in the Pacific Northwest and across the country and this bill is an important first step in the right direction,” said Larsen. “While authorizing reforms is progress, making a meaningful difference in the lives of those who are suffering from addiction requires a serious investment of resources from Congress. That did not happen today and it is something I will continue to fight for.”
Additionally, the legislation authorizes grant programs for states to establish, implement, and improve state-based prescription drug monitoring programs and grant programs and reforms to help veterans and neonatal abstinence syndrome.
Between 2011 and 2013, nearly 20 percent of all heroin-related deaths in Washington state occurred in Snohomish County, though it represents less than 10 percent of the state’s population.
Full text of the bill can be found here.