Bipartisan Legislation Represents Multifaceted Approach to Address Nation’s Addiction Crisis

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today voted for H.R. 6, the “Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018.” The legislation includes a number of reforms that would reduce the supply of illegal drugs, including synthetic opioids; support efforts in states to encourage recovery; and drive long-term solutions, including the development of new non-addictive painkillers.

“Drug overdose deaths are skyrocketing in America in large part because of synthetic opioids flowing into our country from overseas,” Wicker said. “Today the Senate has taken action that would help stop these drugs from entering our country through the mail, while providing more resources to prevent and treat addiction. We are also looking to the future by encouraging the development of non-addictive opioid alternatives. Those suffering from chronic pain should get the treatment they need without other risks to their health.”

The legislation includes the “Expanding Telehealth Response to Ensure Addiction Treatment (eTREAT) Act,” which Wicker coauthored. This provision of the bill would promote the use of telemedicine to treat substance abuse by waiving the geographical restrictions that typically prevent Medicare reimbursement.

The “Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018” would also:

  • Enact the STOP Act to stop illegal drugs at the border, including shipments of synthetic opioids through the mail;
  • Improve data sharing of prescription drug monitoring programs between states;
  • Support states in addressing substance use disorders;
  • Expand access to medication-assisted treatment; and
  • Spur the development of new non-addictive painkillers.

Senator Roger Wicker Press Release