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Washington D.C.
Cornyn Substance Abuse Prevention Bill Heads to President’s Desk in Opioids Package
News Release
Thursday, October 04, 2018

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement after his bipartisan bill to reauthorize drug abuse programs, the Substance Abuse Prevention Act, passed yesterday as a part of legislation to combat the opioid crisis:

“As our country works to combat the opioid crisis, Congress has come together in a bipartisan way to support millions of Americans suffering from drug addiction and abuse,” Sen. Cornyn said. “I’m glad the Substance Abuse Prevention Act was included in this legislation to help reduce demand, fund recovery programs, and help law enforcement take drugs off the streets. I look forward to the President signing it so we can bring much-needed relief to suffering families and their loved ones.”

Background:

The Substance Abuse Prevention Act was originally introduced by Senators Cornyn and Feinstein to reauthorize critical programs to reduce demand for narcotics, provide assistance to various agencies so they can better combat opioid addiction, and support those recovering from substance abuse.

  • Office of National Drug Control Policy: Reauthorizes the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) at the White House, which oversees Executive Branch efforts on narcotics control and ensures efforts complement and strengthen state and local anti-drug activates. 
  • Drug Abuse Prevention Programs: Reauthorizes several important programs under the ONDCP including the Drug-Free Communities Program and the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program and allows the ONDCP Director to participate in and expand opioid and heroin awareness campaigns which were authorized under the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA).
  • Drug Courts: Reauthorizes Department of Justice funding for drug courts, which provide targeted interventions for individuals with drug addiction and substance abuse disorders and allows non-profit organizations to provide important training and technical assistance to drug courts.
  • Better Substance Abuse Treatment: Directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study on reimbursements for substance use disorder services and make recommendations in order to bring parity to and improve reimbursements. 
  • Educating Prescribers: Requires Attorney General and HHS Secretary to complete a plan for educating and training medical practitioners in best practices for prescribing controlled substances.
  • Supporting Education and Awareness: Allows the Attorney General to make grants available to entities that focus on substance use disorders and specialize in family and patient services.
  • Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams: Authorizes the Director of ONDCP in coordination with SAMHSA to provide grants to establish Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) to determine the effectiveness of pairing social workers and mentors with families that are struggling with substance use disorder and child abuse or neglect.

The following groups supported the Substance Abuse Prevention Act: the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the Addiction Policy Forum, the National Association for Children of Addiction (NACoA), the Moyer Foundation, the National Council for Behavioral Health, the National District Attorneys Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the National HIDTA Directors Association, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the National Criminal Justice Association, the National Association of Police Organizations, and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.




Remembering Jim Guidry


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