US Senate Passes Opioids Bill

Comprehensive bipartisan package earmarks billions of dollars to fight opioid abuse in the United States.
Comprehensive bipartisan package earmarks billions of dollars to fight opioid abuse in the United States.

HealthDay News — The Senate on Monday passed on a 99-1 vote legislation aimed at curbing the nation's ongoing opioid addiction crisis.

The comprehensive bipartisan package earmarks billions of dollars to prevent cross-border opioid trafficking, create comprehensive recovery centers, and fund research into helping children exposed to opioid abuse, CBS News reported. 

Five different committees submitted more than 70 proposals to help craft the bill, called the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018. The bill authorizes $7.9 billion for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, and other agencies. 

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The bill includes the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act, or STOP, which requires the US Postal Service to do more to prevent illegal drugs such as fentanyl from entering the United States via the mail. The bill also mandates that the US Food and Drug Administration oversee the design of new packaging for opioids in limited quantities – for example, a 3- or 7-day supply in plastic blister packs. Ten million dollars in grant money will also be given to qualified applicants to open addiction recovery centers, CBS said.

The House passed its own version of the bill in June, and the Senate and House are expected to iron out any differences between the 2 bills by Friday, so that a bill can be presented to president Donald Trump for signature by early October.

CBS News Article