House approves funds in opioid fight

Dec 7, 2016 Issues: 114th Congress Accomplishments, Health Care

South Whidbey Record: House approves funds in opioid fight
By Evan Thompson

A major step in the fight against opioid epidemics in Washington communities and across the nation was recently made in Washington D.C.

The House voted 392-26 to approve $1 billion to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic after urging from Congressman Rick Larsen, a press release said. The House fulfilled Larsen’s request to fund the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which includes “expanded access to lifesaving overdose reversal drugs and improve pain management and prescription practices.”

Some potential overdose reversal drugs include Narcan, a nasal spray that blocks opiate receptors and quickly reverses the physical affects of heroin or other opiates.

The $1 billion, which will be used over the next two years, will be given preference to states with an incidence or prevalence of opioid use disorders.

Douglas Wagoner, communications director for Larsen, said Washington state stands to benefit from the law, but is “too early to surmise exact dollar amounts” because distribution depends on how incoming administration interprets the law.