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House Clears Bills to Combat Opioid Addiction

On May 11, the House approved, by voice vote, several bills to address the prevention of, and treatment for, opioid addiction. The chamber passed H.R. 3691, the Improving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act, H.R. 4843, the Improving Safe Care for the Prevention of Infant Abuse and Neglect Act, and H.R. 4978, the Nurturing and Supporting Healthy Babies Act. The House Energy and Commerce and Education and the Workforce Committees approved these bills on April 28 (see The Source, 4/29/16).

The House also approved H.R. 4982, the Examining Opioid Treatment Infrastructure Act, as amended. Sponsored by Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), the bill would require the Government Accountability Office to report on treatment programs for individuals addicted to opiates, including pregnant women.

The Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act (H.R. 5046), sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), also cleared the House on May 11 by a vote of 413-5. The bill would authorize grants to treat opioid addiction and would provide alternatives to incarceration for pregnant women and parents whose children could end up entering the foster care system.

On May 13, the House passed, 400-5, its amendments to S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. The Senate approved its version of the bill on March 10 (see The Source, 3/11/16). The bill would replace the Senate version of S. 524 with the series of opioid abuse-related bills approved by the House earlier in the week.

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