Federal Opioid Package Sent To Conference Committee

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed differing packages of bills intended to address the opioid epidemic. The bills, which lack funding, will be sent to conference committee.

As reported in The Baltimore Sun:

The House and Senate have both approved bipartisan legislation on heroin and prescription drug abuse, but the packages are substantially different. Both measures, which now must be resolved by a yet-to-be-appointed conference committee, do not include new money to pay for the programs lawmakers envision.

Rep. John Sarbanes of Baltimore County was the original sponsor of one of the House-passed bills. His proposal would encourage and train doctors to prescribe overdose reversal drugs, such as Naloxone, when they prescribe pain medication and other opioids.

The idea is to ensure that if a patient becomes addicted and overdoses that there is medication on hand that could save his or her life.

Sarbanes’ legislation, which passed by voice vote on Wednesday, anticipates $5 million in funding over five years, with individual grants up to $200,000 to help train medical providers to prescribe Naloxone.

For more information read the full article in The Baltimore Sun.

Previous coverage on Conduit Street: House Works to Pass Package of Opioid Bills

Confronting substance abuse will be a topic discussed at the 2016 MACo Summer Conference during the session, “Counties Confront Substance Abuse: What’s Now, What’s New, and What’s Next,” on Friday, August 19, from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. There will also be 2 chances for attendees to become certified in administering Naloxone, the overdose treatment drug. Full session details are available at www.mdcounties.org/SC16RegistrationBrochure.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: