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Guthrie, Green Introduce Bill to Combat Opioid Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY), vice chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, and Congressman Gene Green (D-TX), ranking member of the Health Subcommittee, today introduced the Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Act of 2018 (H.R. 5327). Guthrie and Green were joined by colleagues Congressmen Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) and Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN), in support of this bill. 

Today many Americans are suffering from addiction and have few options for comprehensive treatment. The current addiction treatment system in the United States is fragmented, made up of numerous types of settings providing varying degrees of treatment services.

The Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Act of 2018 would allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to award grants to treatment facilities in order to establish or operatecomprehensive centers that provide a full range of treatment services. The bill requires evidence-based practices and data reporting to ensure accountability, allowing for treatments such as detoxification, the use of FDA-approved medications for substance abuse disorders, and a number of other services. 

“Opioid addiction is taking a terrible toll across the country and especially in Kentucky,” said Guthrie. “Just like there is no single reason why someone may become addicted to opioids, there cannot be a one-size-fits all approach to treating addiction. Unfortunately, too many treatment centers only offer one type of service, but that service might not be the best approach for all of their patients. The Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Act will help provide services that encompass more available options for treating opioid addiction, allowing patients to receive better-tailored treatments that match their specific needs. I was proud to work with Congressmen Green, Lujan, and Bucshon to introduce this bill, taking another important step forward in combating our nation’s opioid epidemic.”

“We all want to end the opioid epidemic and save as many lives as possible,” said Green. “What we need is a comprehensive plan that employs proven public health strategies and spans the entire spectrum from prevention to treatment and recovery. I’m proud to work with Congressman Brett Guthrie on a bipartisan solution that will create a grant program for comprehensive opioid recovery centers. Our legislation will require designated centers to provide wraparound services for Americans suffering from opioid addiction, including counseling, recovery housing, and job training. It is our intention to use this new program to identify standards and best practices that can be deployed nationwide.”

Background:

The Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Act of 2018 would award grants on a competitive basis to eligible entities to establish or operate Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers. Grants can be renewed for additional periods of time with the Secretary’s approval following consideration of treatment results data required to be submitted by all participants.

Either directly or through coordination with other entities, every Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Center must provide the following services:

  • Intake evaluations that meet the individual clinical needs of patients.
  • Periodic patient assessments.
  • A full continuum of treatment services, including:
  • FDA-approved medications for the treatment of substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder;
  • Detoxification;
  • Counseling;
  • Residential rehabilitation;
  • Recovery housing;
  • Community-based and peer recovery support services;
  • Job training and placement assistance; and
  • Other best practices as determined by the HHS Secretary.
  • Pharmacy and toxicology services.
  • A secure and confidential electronic health information system.

Each center must have an outreach team to disseminate resources to educate professionals and the public on opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders. Each center must submit data to the HHS Secretary, and the HHS Secretary must submit a preliminary report to Congress analyzing data collected by the centers three years following enactment.

 

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