This afternoon, President Trump is expected to sign a massive opioid package and tout the bill as a major accomplishment toward curbing the overdose crisis. The package is the product of bipartisan efforts to pass opioid legislation in both the House and Senate in recent months.
Statement from Grant Smith, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance:
“This legislation takes some critical steps toward making lifesaving medication-assisted treatment more accessible, but should be seen as only one small step toward addressing overdose deaths rather than a comprehensive plan.
“Missing from the package is a sustained commitment from Congress and the Administration to deliver funding for evidence-based treatments, like methadone and buprenorphine, at the levels needed to meet the demand. For decades our nation’s treatment infrastructure has been short-changed, while billions of dollars have been poured into arresting and incarcerating people who use drugs. Trump’s opioid package doesn’t even begin to close this gap.
“The opioid package could do much more to expand life-saving tools, like naloxone distribution and supervised consumption services. While Congress should be applauded for not including new mandatory-minimum sentences in this package, it doesn’t reflect the kind of bold and innovative action needed to address the crisis.”