Guthrie Bill Passes in House Effort to Combat Opioid Crisis

Click here to view Congressman Guthrie’s speech on the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act.


WASHINGTON, D.C.–Congressman Brett Guthrie’s (KY-02) bill to combat the opioid crisis, the Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Act (H.R. 5327), today passed the House as part of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6).

“Too many Kentuckians have been affected by our nation’s ongoing opioid crisis,” said Guthrie. “Sadly, anyone can fall victim to opioid use disorder, and those that do come from all walks of life. One problem that many patients and their families face is finding the right facility that offers the type of treatment that works best for them. I introduced the Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Act to create facilities that offer all options so that patients can receive tailored care that fits their specific needs.”

The Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Actwill establish a grant program for facilities to offer evidence-based treatments and all FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder. Most facilities currently offer only one kind of treatment, so patients at those facilities may not be receiving the best treatment for them. By offering all possible options, a comprehensive recovery center would allow patients to get the treatment that works best for them.

After passing overwhelmingly in the House by a vote of 383 to 12 on June 12, 2018, the Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Act was then included in the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, a package of over fifty different pieces of legislation to address the opioid epidemic from four main angles: prevention, treatment and recovery, protecting communities, and fighting the illicit fentanyl trade. In addition to the Comprehensive Opioid Recover Centers Act, Guthrie also worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to include legislation to increase access to Medicaid funding for substance use disorder treatment and to help pregnant women and new mothers receive treatment for opioid use disorder.

The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act originally passed in the House on June 22, 2018, by a vote of 396 to 4. The Senate passed a similar package of legislation last week, the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018. The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act passed today include final language worked out by Senate and House negotiators to merge the two bills. It passed the House today by a vote of 393 to 8. Following expected Senate passage the bill will go to the president to be signed into law.

“The opioid crisis is something I hear about in almost every conversation I have with Second District residents, as well as when working in Washington,” said Guthrie. “This is something that affects every state and every district, and Republicans and Democrats in Congress were able to come together to address this epidemic in a bipartisan way. As vice chair of the Health Subcommittee and chairman of the Workforce Development Subcommittee, I was proud to work with my colleagues to help craft legislation that will help those suffering with opioid use disorder receive treatment and then rebuild their lives again. I urge the Senate to pass this legislation as soon as possible so we can deliver relief to Kentucky families.”