WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Angus King (I-Maine) this week announced the introduction of a bipartisan resolution designating September as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.
“As one of the states most affected by the growing opioid epidemic, West Virginia is far too familiar with the devastating consequences of addiction,” Senator Capito said. “The drug epidemic is truly a national crisis. Raising awareness is an important part of the solution, and that’s the purpose of this resolution—to draw attention both to the crisis our country is facing and the need to provide those struggling with addiction the support they need to recover.”
The resolution aims to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders, celebrate people in recovery and emphasize the importance of treatment for people in need. It also echoes the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s annual theme for National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities.”
Senators Capito and King have been leaders in Congress in their work to combat the opioid epidemic. In May, they joined a bipartisan group of their colleagues to introduce the Medicaid Coverage for Addiction Recovery Expansion (Medicaid CARE) Act, legislation that would expand access to substance abuse treatment for tens of thousands of Medicaid beneficiaries across the country. They also reintroduced the Caring Recovery for Infants and Babies (CRIB) Act, bipartisan legislation that would help newborns suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a withdrawal condition often caused by use of opioids and other addictive substances in pregnant women. Additionally, Senator Capito introduced, and Senator King cosponsored, the INTERDICT Act, bipartisan legislation that would provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) with resources and tools, such as hi-tech chemical screening devices, to help detect and interdict fentanyl and other illicit synthetic opioids.
This month, the senators joined others to introduce the Protecting Jessie Grubb’s Legacy Act, legislation to help ensure that medical professionals have full knowledge of their patients’ previous opioid addiction if the patient gives consent. The bill builds on the mission of Jessie’s Law, bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate in August that would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop and disseminate standards for hospitals and physicians regarding displaying the history of opioid addiction in the medical records of patients who have provided information about their addiction to a health care provider.
Senators Capito and King also joined a bipartisan group of their colleagues to urge President Trump to lift the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) Exclusion for residential substance use disorder treatment as part of his opioid emergency declaration.
For the full text of the resolution, click here.
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