WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Trump Administration announced an extension of the opioid public health emergency following calls from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senate colleagues for renewal. Since little has been done following the initial declaration, Brown called on the Trump Administration to follow through on today’s extension with concrete action and funding.
“Words and declarations aren’t enough for Ohio communities battling the opioid epidemic – Ohioans deserve action,” said Brown. “President Trump’s own Commission has laid out several meaningful, commonsense steps the Administration can take right now, and I’m ready to get to work to put these measures into place.”
At the time of the Trump Administration’s Nationwide Public Health Emergency declaration, Brown called the declaration a good step, and called on the Administration to take concrete actions, like investing in the epidemic so communities have the resources they need. Following little action from the White House, Brown raised the need to invest in nation’s opioid epidemic earlier this month at the White House, at an event to sign Brown’s INTERDICT Act into law.
The Trump Administration’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis has recommended several steps that are in line with 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- Eliminating an outdated cap on the number of beds at substance abuse treatment facilities that can be covered under Medicaid.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.