RELEASE: Rep. Hill Announces Plans to Introduce Legislation to Combat Opioid Crisis

Rep. French Hill (AR-02) today held a press conference announcing plans to introduce the Preventing Overdoses and Saving Lives Act, a bill that will create a grant program that allows states and localities to conduct research on the opioid crisis, create a strategic plan on their response to the opioid crisis, and implement co-prescribing in their jurisdiction.

Rep. Hill was joined by:

  • Kirk Lane, Arkansas Drug Director;
  • Paula Cunningham, Director, Parker Gill Foundation; and
  • Teresa Belew, Director of Corporate Affairs, Speakup About Drugs.

“Since coming to Congress, I have wanted to focus time and attention on the opioid crisis raging across Arkansas and throughout the country. We must create solutions at the state and national level and this bill, inspired by my friend Kirk Lane, would complement the co-prescribing law from the state legislature while encouraging other states to adopt co-prescribing practices as well,” said Rep. Hill. “This legislation and the opioid crisis are personal to me. Like many central Arkansans and families across the nation, my family and I have lost friends to overdoses.”

“I am proud to support this bill because it educates, defeats stigma, and builds collaboration. These three elements are vital to reversing the deadly trend that we have seen nationally in overdoses. This bill will be a critical part of our strategy in Arkansas. Thank you, Congressman Hill for your heart in bringing this forward,” said Kirk Lane.   

Further Background:

Co-prescribing is when a doctor prescribes an opioid but also prescribes an opioid overdose reversal drug, like naloxone, with that opioid.

This legislation would establish a grant program that is administered by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The grant program is open to all fifty states, any Indian Tribe, any territory, and the District of Columbia. Up to 80% of the grant must be used for research and developing a strategic plan on the opioid crisis. At least 20% of the grant must be used for co-prescribing.

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