Introduction of Behavioral Health Legislation Continues on Capitol Hill
Adding to a growing number of bills targeting addiction, Members of Congress this month introduced two new pieces of legislation:
The Stop the Overuse Problem Already Becoming a Universal Substance Epidemic (STOP ABUSE) Act (H.R. 3719) authorizes multiple grants to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic including grants to support treatment alternative to incarceration programs. The STOP ABUSE Act reauthorizes the controlled substance monitoring program for prescribers, supporting state-run databases that provide accurate and timely patient prescription history to assist prescribers in identifying patients who are receiving multiple opioid prescriptions. Additionally, the bill would establish an interagency taskforce charged with formulating guidelines for best prescribing practices of opioids and other controlled substances. The bill was introduced by the co-chairs of the Bipartisan Taskforce to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, Representatives Frank Guinta (R-NH) and Annie McLane Kuster (D-NH).
The Improving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act (H.R. 3691) authorizes new and existing treatment programs for pregnant and postpartum women, including treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders among this population. The bill establishes a pilot program to provide grants to state substance abuse agencies to promote innovative service delivery models for pregnant and postpartum women. This legislation was introduced by Representative Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) and four cosponsors.