House Poised To Pass Sweeping Anti-Drug Legislation
Historic Action Delivers “Critical Funds” To Fight The Heroin Crisis
WASHINGTON — A landmark package of 18 anti-drug bills aimed at combating the heroin and drug abuse crisis, including a major bill co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, is expected to pass the U.S. House this week.
Buchanan is a co-sponsor of the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act (H.R. 5046), the cornerstone of the legislative package, which will provide over $500 million in funding to states and local communities to enhance anti-drug education, prevention and treatment programs.
The package also includes several bills that will address drug interdiction, child welfare issues, and prevent the over-prescription of opioids and painkillers for veterans seeking care from the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense.
“This historic package of anti-drug bills will deliver critical funds to address the abuse of heroin and opiates, support our loved ones on their path towards recovery and slow the flow of drugs into our country,” Buchanan said. “The House is sending a clear message – we need to put aside partisanship and get these bills to President Obama’s desk without further delay.”
Buchanan represents Manatee County, the epicenter of the heroin crisis in Florida. Manatee County had more heroin overdose deaths per capita than any other Florida county in 2014.
The number of heroin overdose deaths in Florida increased 900 percent from 2010-2014, according to the Florida Medical Examiners Commission.
The Congressman has been an active leader in addressing the heroin crisis in Florida. Earlier this year he hosted a roundtable in Bradenton, Fla. with local police officers, medical professionals and stakeholders. Buchanan also recently chaired a meeting of the bipartisan 29-member Florida congressional delegation in Washington, DC where members heard testimony from Rep. Sensenbrenner, author of H.R. 5046, and anti-drug experts. Buchanan serves as co-chair of the Florida delegation.
Buchanan has been at the forefront of the fight to crack down on drug abuse for years. In 2014, the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Agency adopted Buchanan’s proposal to make it more difficult for abusers to obtain certain highly addictive narcotics.