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Donnelly To Senate Leadership: We Need Robust Funding To Address The Opioid Crisis
Updated November 2, 2017 7:27 AM
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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly today sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calling on the leaders to bring more funding to the fight against the opioid abuse epidemic.

The letter follows last week's designation by President Trump declaring the crisis a 'Nationwide Public Health Emergency.' Although the designation allows for increased engagement from federal agencies, it does not provide for any new funding for the fight.

Last year, several of Donnelly's provisions were signed into law, and he successfully advocated and continues to advocate for funding that would expand prevention and treatment programs. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and the 21st Century Cures Act, both of which Donnelly helped pass into law, have programs and funding to combat the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemics. Through the Cures Act, Donnelly helped Indiana secure nearly $11 million in federal grant funding this year that will support prevention, treatment, and recovery services across the state.

Donnelly said in his letter today, in part, "The President was right to declare the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency, but additional progress will require Congress to invest more in state and local addiction treatment, recovery, and prevention efforts.

"...I encourage you to include robust funding to address this crisis and to give the President's public health emergency declaration the resources required to make a meaningful difference."

Senator Donnelly's letter:

Senator Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader

Senator Chuck Schumer
Minority Leader

Dear Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer,

As you know, President Trump recently declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency. This declaration was a positive step in the ongoing effort to bring more awareness to this escalating crisis that has devastated families and communities across Indiana and our country.

The President was right to declare the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency, but additional progress will require Congress to invest more in state and local addiction treatment, recovery, and prevention efforts.

We know that it will take an all-hands on deck approach at the federal, state, and local levels to combat the opioid epidemic. I was proud to support the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and 21st Century Cures Act, which were signed into law last year. The state of Indiana has used the funding and authorities from these laws to among other things, expand addiction treatment services, support clinicians through innovative technical assistance programs, create mobile crisis teams that can deploy to areas of acute need, integrate electronic health records with the state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), and distribute naloxone to areas of need. And yet, there is still a great need in my state and more work to be done.

Both Congress and the administration have recognized the scope of the problem and provided tools needed to more effectively address this epidemic. However, I continue to hear from experts on the ground that more resources are needed to expand treatment capabilities.

While there is still much work for us to do before the remainder of the year, I encourage you to include robust funding to address this crisis and to give the President's public health emergency declaration the resources required to make a meaningful difference.

Sincerely,
Joe Donnelly
U.S. Senator



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