RELEASE: Reps. Hill & Dingell Introduce Bipartisan Preventing Overdoses and Saving Lives Act
LITTLE ROCK, AR, September 10, 2021
Rep. French Hill (AR-02) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12) today introduced the Preventing Overdoses and Saving Lives Act. The bill’s introduction comes on the heels of a press conference Rep. Hill hosted earlier this week in Little Rock to announce plans to introduce the bill.
“We lost 90,000 Americans to drug overdoses – that is a crisis,” said Rep. Hill. “Co-prescribing can save lives in that when you’re prescribed an opioid, you’re also prescribed an opioid reversal drug. I have seen first-hand how successful co-prescribing has been in Arkansas and I wanted to take that to the national level which is why I’ve introduced this bipartisan legislation to save lives alongside my friend Rep. Debbie Dingell.”
“The opioid epidemic is ravaging families in my home state of Michigan and across this country,” said Rep. Dingell. “It is critical that we come together – Democrats and Republicans – to combat this public health crisis and find meaningful solutions that communities can implement to save lives. This bipartisan legislation would create a grant program for states and localities to research the crisis, strategize on solutions, and implement co-prescribing so that we can prevent overdoses and end this epidemic.”
“Tragically, we are losing more lives than ever to overdose deaths, and most of those deaths are preventable by administering an overdose reversal medication. We hope the ‘Preventing Overdoses and Saving Lives Act’ is passed and signed into law quickly,” said the Hon. Mary Bono, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse.
“With overdose rates at all-time highs, we must expand access to life-saving overdose reversal medications. This legislation will do just that – helping aid our fight to reduce overdoses and prevent deaths,” said Charles Ingoglia, President and CEO, National Council for Mental Wellbeing.
"We at SAFE Project applaud Congressman Hill’s work on this legislation. Our country’s overdose crisis cannot be overcome without comprehensive and holistic planning. Addiction is a disease that is affecting every aspect of our communities. This legislation wisely conveys that prevention or treatment programs alone are not enough. Making grant funding contingent upon strategic planning and co-prescribing is the best way to address today’s crisis while planning to bring an end to this epidemic," said Brandee Izquierdo, Executive Director, SAFE Project.
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.