Capito Votes to Deliver Historic Opioid Relief for West Virginia

VIDEO: Speaks on Senate floor to highlight critical provisions secured in final legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today voted to pass the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act—comprehensive legislation combining a bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representative and the  Opioid Crisis Response Act, which the Senate passed with overwhelming bipartisan support last week. The bill delivers a wide range of legislative solutions that will help strengthen efforts to fight the opioid epidemic and now goes to President Trump’s desk for his signature. Senator Capito issued the following statement after the Senate passed this final bill by a vote of 98-1: 

“The SUPPORT Act is a meaningful step in our ongoing effort to combat the opioid epidemic in West Virginia and across the nation. Our state understands far too well how this crisis is tearing apart families and communities, but our experience has also helped inform efforts to fight back. We have discovered what is working, what is not, and, perhaps most importantly, that the ripple effects go far beyond those struggling with addiction. I worked hard to make sure that this legislation reflects many of those lessons. 

“This groundbreaking, comprehensive legislation will help deliver critical funding to states hit the hardest like West Virginia. It provides support for families, infants, children, and law enforcement and takes a real all-hands-on-deck approach to addressing both the causes and consequences of the drug crisis. I’m incredibly proud to have secured so many critical provisions in the final bill and to have played a role in helping shape the legislative package we sent to President Trump. While there is no silver bullet when it comes to the opioid epidemic, I know this will help make a meaningful difference, and I will continue fighting to deliver similar solutions for West Virginians and all those affected.”   

Earlier today, Senator Capito spoke on the Senate floor about West Virginia’s key role in shaping this legislation and the provisions included that are based on legislation she introduced or led as a co-sponsor. You can watch the full video here or by clicking on the image below. 

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Senator Capito introduced or led as a co-sponsor the following provisions: 

  • A change to the 21st Century Cures Act State Targeted Response Grants formula that focuses federal funds on states like West Virginia that have been hit hardest by the opioid crisis.
  • The Opioid Addiction Recovery Fraud Prevention Act, which will hold fraudulent substance abuse treatment programs and recovery centers accountable by empowering the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to bring enforcement actions to combat such scams.
  • Language establishing Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers (CORCs), a new grant program to provide the full continuum of treatment for patients in areas hardest hit by the opioid crisis.
  • Resources for communities to start or expand programs for coordination of care and treatment after an overdose, such as the successful Quick Response Teams (QRTs) that have had such success in Huntington, West Virginia, and are now expanding throughout the state.
  • The Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, which will help prevent the shipment of synthetic opioids like fentanyl into the United States through the international mail system by imposing tough new requirements on the U.S. Postal Service and Customs and Border Protection.
  • New resources to identify, prevent, and mitigate the effects of trauma related to the opioid epidemic among infants, children, and their families.  Includes the creation of a task force to identify and disseminate trauma-informed best practices within federal grant programs; a grant program to link educational agencies with mental health systems to increase student access to evidence-based trauma support services; additional funding for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network; and the expansion of programs to increase the mental health workforce for this population.
  • The Caring Recovery for Infants and Babies (CRIB) Act, which clarifies states’ ability under Medicaid to provide care for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome in residential pediatric recovery centers like Lily’s Place in Huntington, West Virginia. It also reauthorizes the Residential l Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women grant program Senator Capito worked to include in CARA and includes grants to help states implement plans of safe care for substance-exposed infants included in CARA.
  • The Using Data to Prevent Opioid Diversion Act, which will provide drug manufacturers and distributors with data to identify pharmacies that are suspiciously ordering prescription opioids and provide law enforcement the authority to hold them accountable if they fail to use this data to identify, report, and stop suspicious orders of prescription opioids.

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