President Obama is expected to sign a bill aimed at curbing abuse of heroin and drugs, an epidemic which has swept across the nation. The bill authorizes $181 million in new spending, with an expectation that lawmakers will approve nearly $500 million for opioid programs in the next budget year.
According to NPR,
The bill is an amalgam of more than a dozen proposals passed through the year in the House and Senate. And while it has lots of new policies and provisions — from creating a task force to study how best to treat pain, to encouraging states to create prescription drug monitoring programs — it doesn’t have much money to put them in place.
In one of the few areas of the bill that includes funding, lawmakers authorized the Department of Justice to spend $100 million a year for five years to find alternatives to jail for opioid abusers, and to allow prisons to use methadone or buprenorphine to treat inmates with opioid addictions.
And the legislation allows more people to have access to naloxone, the drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, reducing the risk of death. Access would be expanded for people working in schools and community centers.
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