Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) this week introduced a resolution to designate October as “National Substance Abuse Prevention Month,” to help raise awareness about substance use and misuse in the United States.
“In 2019, an estimated 72,000 American lives, including 6,000 Californians, were lost to drug overdoses that were largely preventable,” said Senator Feinstein. “Communities nationwide are reporting higher levels of substance abuse, which are being exacerbated by the social isolation and stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. While Congress has taken steps to address the nation’s drug use epidemic, including enacting the SUPPORT Act in 2018, we must do more to support programs that help prevent substance abuse from ever starting. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this resolution and help raise awareness about our nation’s drug use epidemic.”
“Substance abuse affects Americans from all walks of life. While we’ve done much to address addiction and abuse at the federal level, there is more work to be done. I’m glad to join this bipartisan resolution with my colleagues to raise awareness about substance abuse, the particular obstacles during the COVID pandemic, and the many negative impacts it has on individuals and families in our country,” Senator Grassley said.
The full text of the resolution follows:
Supporting the designation of October 2020 as “National Substance Abuse Prevention Month”
Whereas initiation of substance use during adolescence is associated with substance use and misuse in adulthood;
Whereas, in 2019, more than 8,000,000 people in the United States aged 12 and older used a controlled substance for the first time;
Whereas, in 2019, an estimated 35,000,000 people in the United States aged 12 and older used an illicit drug, including cocaine and methamphetamine;
Whereas more than 20,000,000 people in the United States aged 12 and older had a substance use disorder in 2019, including more than 8,000,000 individuals who had an illicit drug use disorder;
Whereas, in 2019, an estimated 4,200,000 people in the United States aged 12 and older received some form of substance use disorder treatment;
Whereas, in 2019, an estimated 72,000 lives in the United States were lost to largely preventable drug overdoses;
Whereas illicit drug use and the misuse of prescription opioids costs the United States $271,500,000,000 annually;
Whereas Federal funding to prevent substance use and misuse was cut by nearly 34 percent between fiscal years 2009 and 2020;
Whereas every dollar invested in substance use and misuse prevention programs can provide a savings of up to $20 in substance use and misuse treatment, health care, and criminal justice costs;
Whereas Congress has sought to expand access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services through passage of, among other measures, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-198; 130 Stat. 695);
Whereas substance use and misuse prevention and treatment organizations in the United States recognize October as “National Substance Abuse Prevention Month”;
Whereas October 24, 2020, is the second anniversary of the enactment of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (Public Law 115-271; 132 Stat. 3894); and
Whereas the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has increased social isolation for many people in the United States, which can lead to a greater use and misuse of legal and illegal substances: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
- supports effective programs to prevent substance use and misuse, including community-based prevention programs such as the Drug-Free Communities Support Program;
- recognizes that certain substances are being misused at higher rates among adults during the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially due to the stress and social isolation associated with the public health emergency;
- supports additional research and expanded access to effective programs to prevent substance use and misuse during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- supports programs to help stem the drug addiction and overdose epidemic in the United States; and
- supports the designation of October 2020 as “National Substance Abuse Prevention Month”.