WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) applauded several recommendations from the Administration’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, and called for quick action and additional investment to help communities on the frontlines of the epidemic.
“This report is encouraging because a number of these proposals already have the support of Republicans and Democrats in Congress,” said Brown. “This report cannot be the end of the conversation – we need to work together to turn its recommendations into action. That means significant resources and investments so those on the frontlines have the funding they need to make change in their communities. I will keep working with Senator Portman and the Administration to make sure Ohio communities have our support in the fight against opioid addiction.”
In March, Brown applauded the formation of the Commission. Several of the Commission’s recommendations are proposals Brown has worked on, including:
- Eliminating an outdated cap on the number of beds at substance abuse treatment facilities that can be covered under Medicaid. Current law limits use of Medicaid funding for residential mental health or substance abuse treatment to facilities with just 16 beds or less, which prevents many Ohioans from getting the help they need. Brown has legislation with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to lift the cap so Ohioans can get care. The Commission’s report notes this is one of the quickest ways to get people into treatment.
- Increasing access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Brown has worked on legislation to expand use of MAT, which was included in the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA), which Brown supported. He has also cosponsored The Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment Act (TREAT Act) to further expand access to this effective form of treatment.
- Increasing access to naloxone. Brown has called on the government to boost funding to help first responders maintain a supply of naloxone and supported CARA, which authorized funding for overdose reversal drugs.
- Developing better fentanyl detection devices for local, state and federal law enforcement, and supporting legislation Brown is supporting to stop the flow of synthetic opioids through the U.S. Postal Service. Brown teamed up with Senator Portman on a pair of bills to help block the flow of fentanyl to Ohio communities, the INTERDICT and STOP Acts. The STOP Act, which Brown is cosponsoring, would help USPS detect these drugs. Brown’s INTERDICT ACT provides Customs and Border agents with additional resources to screen for fentanyl safely and effectively.