(Congressman) Tom Reed continued the fight against opioid abuse by supporting a bill which provides federal funding to the states to combat opioid abuse. “We care about protecting the people in our communities from the scourge of heroin and opioid abuse. We also care about the people that are already struggling with addiction and their loved ones,” said Reed. “We must come together to get this bill over the finish line. After hearing from so many people around our district, I’m convinced that this is the right thing to do.”
The bipartisan bill is designed to begin coordinating efforts to combat heroin and opioid abuse nationwide by focusing on the law enforcement aspect of combating illegal drugs and prescription drug abuse and providing recovery and treatment options for addicts.
The bill authorizes over $103 million dollars per year for the next five years to encourage coordination between law enforcement agencies and to strengthen existing narcotics investigation efforts. The bill also sets aside $5 million per year for the next five years, for improve enforcement efforts in areas with higher incidences heroin and methamphetamine abuse, through community based coalitions. This encourages wide reaching community involvement and a holistic approach to curbing the problem.
The bill also authorizes new grants to states and groups of states that are implementing programs aimed at treatment and recovery from opioid abuse. In conjunction with this funding, the bill will specifically help states expand access to addiction treatment services.
“This is about saving lives and we have to respond with compassion and realize the importance of treatment for addicts. We have to deal with addiction like a disease rather than just a criminal offense,” said Reed.
The support for the legislation comes as Reed has heard directly from law enforcement, medical professionals, community leaders, parents and even addicts to gain insight on combating the opioid and heroin abuse problem, during recent round table discussions throughout the region.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, we encourage you to contact 1-877-8-HOPENY to learn more about getting help. All calls are toll-free, anonymous and confidential.