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Shelley Starkey

Bipartisan House Bill Would Support College Students Living with Addiction

July 11, 2019 | Addictions | Comments
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The Campus Prevention and Recovery Services for Students Act of 2019 (H.R. 3591), introduced late last month, would help institutions of higher education support students experiencing substance use disorder (SUD). The bill aims to implement evidence-based programs, promote collaboration between schools and state treatment agencies, and encourage integration between primary care, mental health and SUD services in campus-based health centers. The National Council applauds Representatives David Trone (D-MD), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Chris Pappas (D-NH), John Joyce (R-PA), Lucy McBath (D-GA), and Michael Guest (R-MS) for their leadership on this issue.

As the nationwide opioid crisis continues, college campuses are particularly at risk. According to a study out of the Ohio State University, one in ten undergraduates report using pain medications for non-medical reasons. “Young adults are at particular risk for experiencing mental health and addiction issues, yet far too often institutions of higher education lack the resources to support them,” said Chuck Ingoglia, president and CEO of the National Council. “We applaud this effort to open up funding for critical treatment and recovery services, along with peer supports and training to help faculty, staff and students recognize and respond to those who are in distress. This grant program is sorely needed and will contribute to better mental health and wellness on campuses across the country.”

The Campus Prevention and Recovery Services for Students Act seeks to amend the Higher Education Act to implement various measures including:

  • Promoting evidence-based prevention and treatment models on campuses
  • Ensuring collaboration between colleges, universities, and state agencies
  • Encouraging integration and collaboration in campus-based health services between primary care, SUD services, and mental health services
  • Providing funding and resources for colleges and universities to implement these changes through an interagency agreement between the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services

Read more in-depth information about the bill on Rep. Trone’s website here.