Washington—The Senate today passed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, a comprehensive bill to help address the opioid and drug overdose epidemic.
The bill includes several provisions authored or cosponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), including the Using Data to Prevent Opioid Diversion Act, which holds drug distributors and manufacturers accountable for failure to identify, stop and report suspicious orders of opioids.
“Congress is finally taking action to address the drug overdose problem that has reached epidemic levels, claiming more than 70,000 lives last year alone, including 49,031 that were opioid-specific,” Feinstein said.
“We’ve seen the rise of powerful synthetic drugs like fentanyl that have the potential to make an already terrible problem worse. Exposure to miniscule amounts can have deadly consequences for users as well as first responders. That’s why this bill takes a broad spectrum approach to meet the opioid crisis head on.
“The bill reauthorizes critical substance abuse prevention programs, expands access to treatment and provides law enforcement with tools to stop the trafficking of illicit substances.”
Other provisions in the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act:
1) Using Data to Prevent Opioid Diversion Act, which provides the Drug Enforcement Administration with additional tools to hold drug manufacturers and distributors accountable for reporting suspicious orders of opioids. Senator Feinstein authored this bill.
2) Opioid Quota Reform Act, which helps ensure legitimate access to pain medications, while simultaneously authorizing the Drug Enforcement Administration to consider factors such as abuse and overdose deaths when setting annual production quotas for certain opioids. Senator Feinstein was a cosponsor of this bill.
3) Substance Abuse Prevention Act, which establishes a number of new drug prevention and treatment programs and reauthorizes several others, including the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug-Free Communities, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas and drug court programs. Senator Feinstein was a cosponsor of this bill.
4) Synthetic Abuse and Labeling of Toxic Substances Act, which enables the Justice Department to consider additional evidence when determining if a controlled substance analogue is intended for human consumption. Senator Feinstein was a cosponsor of this bill.