Rutherford Supports Bipartisan Bill to Fight Opioid Addiction

September 28, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, a House-Senate package of bills to combat the opioid crisis. This measure supports ongoing efforts to bolster treatment and recovery, enhance preventative measures, and give law enforcement the tools needed to get drugs off the street. The bill builds upon a vote earlier in the week to provide $6.6 billion in opioid assistance for our communities and the recent award of more than $60 million in federal funds to the State of Florida to increase access to treatment and recovery services. The measure is expected to soon pass the Senate and go to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

Upon passage of the measure, Congressman John Rutherford released the following statement:

“The opioid crisis has taken far too many lives – nearly 5,000 Floridians died of an overdose in 2016 alone – devastating families and communities across the country,” said Rutherford. “We have worked with many dedicated health care providers, law enforcement, and public health officials in Northeast Florida that are striving to turn the tide of this crisis. From successful pilot programs at St. Vincent’s in Jacksonville that help reduce opioid prescriptions and connect those in need to treatment with local services, to Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition’s work to decrease the number of children effected by opioids, this legislation will boost efforts to help those struggling with addiction receive the support and treatment they need.

“The bill expands our capacity to treat those struggling with addiction and help them recover, support methods of prevention to stop addiction before it starts, and cut off the supply of both prescription and illicit opioids in our communities. I remain committed to ridding our country of this scourge, and today’s vote shows that Congress remains dedicated to addressing the many different aspects of this epidemic. I thank my colleagues in both the House and Senate for their continued focus on this critical issue for the sake of the families fighting addiction each day.”  

Background on the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act:

  • Provides incentives to health care providers to enhanced coordination and innovation of care
  • Establishes comprehensive opioid recovery centers
  • Improves and expands access to treatment and recovery services
  • Encourages non-addictive opioid alternatives to treat pain
  • Strengthens prescription drug monitoring programs
  • Cracks down on foreign shipments of illicit drugs
  • Assists communities in their efforts to interdict fentanyl and synthetic opioids

Learn more about this legislation here.