Today, bipartisan language from H.R. 5272 introduced by Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) was included in the final passage of a larger bipartisan opioids package agreed upon by the House and Senate. This legislation was originally passed in the House on June 22, 2018 as part of H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, and on June 12, 2018 as a stand-alone bill. Today's vote on the conference agreement will be the final vote in the House, to be followed by the Senate's approval before heading to the President's desk for signature.
Stivers' and Engel's language, found in Section 7111 of the package, will require the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to issue information to grantees seeking to treat mental health and substance use disorders in order to promote the use and replication of evidence-based practices.
"In Ohio and across the country, opioids have derailed careers, broken friendships, separated families, and taken lives. Those who have sought treatment have already taken a tremendous step in the right direction, and we owe it to them to help them get their lives back," Stivers said. "Today, we took another important step in combatting the addiction epidemic by passing a comprehensive opioids package, and I was proud my bipartisan bill was included to help ensure people are receiving treatments that are proven to work to beat drug addiction. Too many people have been let down by treatment that doesn't work. It's time to help them get their lives back. I want to thank Congressman Engel -- who sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee -- for joining me in this effort, and helping to advance this important provision."
"In Westchester County, 124 people died due to opioids in 2016, and in the Bronx, more New Yorkers died of overdoses than in any other borough," Engel said. "I am pleased to see this package moving forward, and I am particularly pleased that the RESULTS Act was included. This is a straightforward step that will make it easier for those fighting the opioid epidemic in communities across the country to implement solutions that work. I am grateful to Congressman Stivers for his partnership."
Specifically, under this provision, SAMHSA is required to issue and periodically update information for entities applying for grants through the Administration to encourage increased use of treatments that have been proven to work. Under this act, SAMHSA will assist grantees around the country in designing their substance use treatment programs by incorporating the most up-to-date science. By increasing the use of science and evidence-based treatments, we can increase the chance to successfully treat our communities battling this epidemic and save millions of American lives in the years to come. Enacting this legislation will help grantees and the treatment community at large replicate treatments and practices that are proven to work.
This bill will also require SAMHSA to inform grantees on how to best identify and communicate the effectiveness or outcome of their program or activity. This will further advance the effort to build a catalogue of treatment options with proven success to guide future grantees, and ensure treatments are evidence-based, while providing transparency and accountability to funding decisions.