May 24, 2018

Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Five Bills to Address Drug Overdose and Opioid Epidemic

Washington—The Senate Judiciary Committee today approved five bipartisan bills to combat the opioid and drug overdose epidemics, including one authored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

“The opioid epidemic is a national crisis that demands our continued attention. There were more than 42,000 opioid-related drug overdose deaths in 2016 alone. More Americans were killed by opioids than car accidents. One of the keys to addressing this crisis is giving law enforcement the tools to go after unscrupulous manufacturers and distributors who turn a blind eye when they see suspicious orders of opioids,” said Feinstein. “We must use every tool available to us to combat this overdose crisis.”

The bills approved by the Judiciary Committee would address the opioid supply and demand for opioids in our country.

The bills passed out of committee today include:

  • Using Data to Prevent Opioid Diversion Act, which provides the Drug Enforcement Administration with additional tools to hold drug manufacturers and distributors accountable for reporting suspicious orders of opioids. This bill was authored by Feinstein.
  • Opioid Quota Reform Act, which helps ensure legitimate access to pain medications, while simultaneously authorizing the Drug Enforcement Administration to consider factors such as abuse and overdose deaths when setting annual production quotas for certain opioids. Feinstein cosponsored the bill.
  • Substance Abuse Prevention Act, which establishes a number of new drug prevention and treatment programs and reauthorizes several others, including the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug-Free Communities, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, and drug court programs. Feinstein co-authored the bill with Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas).
  • Synthetic Abuse and Labeling of Toxic Substances Act, which enables the Justice Department to consider additional evidence when determining if a controlled substance analogue is intended for human consumption. This bill was cosponsored by Feinstein.
  • Access to Increased Drug Disposal Act, which authorizes a new grant program to increase participation in prescription drug take back programs, which can help reduce unwanted or excess opioids that may otherwise be available to be diverted.

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