Recently, West Virginia has unfortunately had the highest number of opioid-related overdose deaths in the nation. This crisis has ravaged the state, destroying thousands of families.
Soon after joining the Senate, Senator Capito convened a successful drug prevention summit in Martinsburg, West Virginia to bring more national attention to this very serious problem. The takeaway was clear: there is a desperate need for substance abuse treatment facilities in the state. The lack of treatment options is not only a problem for those suffering from addiction. It impacts businesses seeking to hire new workers and help employees in need of treatment, and it hurts homeowners concerned with declining neighborhoods and home values.
In addition to improving drug addiction treatment, Senator Capito understands the need to take steps aimed at cutting off the drug supply chain. She joined her colleagues in introducing the STOP Act to prevent the shipment of synthetic opioids – like fentanyl – into the United States through the international mail system and was proud to see it signed into law by President Trump in 2018.
As the Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, Senator Capito has a made it a priority to secure resources and support programs that prevent substance use disorder, treat addiction, and help West Virginians impacted by the addiction crisis get back on track.
As a member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Capito has fiercely advocated for strong border security, including a wall, advanced technology at ports of entry, and increased funding to help stop the flow of deadly drugs coming across the southern border.
Senator Capito has also been an advocate for some of the youngest victims of the opioid epidemic. She introduced the CRIB Act to ensure care for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome in residential pediatric recovery centers – like Lily’s Place in Huntington, West Virginia – and the RISE from Trauma Act to increase resources for communities to support children who have experienced trauma.
Senator Capito played an influential role in crafting the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, the largest comprehensive addiction response legislation ever. West Virginia has served as ground zero for opioid recovery efforts. Programs and techniques—such as Quick Response Teams (QRTs), developed and proven to work in West Virginia—were used as a model for other parts of the country. President Trump signed the SUPPORT Act into law in 2019.
Recently, in addition to advocating for and securing funding to increase access to treatment and recovery options through her role on the Appropriations Committee, Senator Capito authored the NO PAIN Act, which aims to address barriers to non-opioid pain management for those enrolled in Medicare.
She also cosponsored the Family Support Services for Addiction Act that would provide $25 million in grant funding to help nonprofits and community organizations provide support services to families with loved ones seeking addiction treatment.
Senator Capito also authored the Improving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act, which would help fund treatment programs for pregnant and postpartum women.
As fentanyl drives the addiction crisis and creates a devastating impact in West Virginia, Senator Capito has introduced several pieces of legislation to combat the addiction crisis in West Virginia, and stop the flow of fentanyl in communities. The Combating Illicit Xylazine Act, the STOP Act 2.0, and the PREVENT Fentanyl Act aim to further coordinate efforts to disrupt the distribution of fentanyl, block efforts to ship illicit drugs into the U.S., and improve training to crack down on drug trafficking tactics.