Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Bost today cosponsored the Stem the Tide of Overdose Prevalence from Opiate Drugs (HR. 664), known as the STOP OD Act. The legislation works to address the nationwide opioid epidemic by increasing the availability of Naloxone for first responders, expanding training in Naloxone administration, and enhancing educational and preventative efforts.
“Report after report shows the opioid epidemic is destroying our communities,” said Bost. “But these aren’t just numbers or statistics. The people battling addiction are moms and dads, neighbors and young people. Addiction doesn’t care about your race, gender, income or political leanings; it affects everyone. Increasing the availability of Naloxone for our first responders will save lives, giving a mother, father, son, or daughter a new opportunity for recovery.”
The STOP OD Act is supported by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN), Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and MetroHealth.
The STOP OD Act would:
- Authorize up to $75 million annually in fully-offset grants for 2 years to expand educational/preventative efforts and promote treatment and recovery.
- Authorize up to $150 million annually in fully-offset grants for 2 years to provide access to Naloxone, training in the administration of Naloxone, and for testing for Fentanyl. The testing portion is important because many Fentanyl overdoses are misdiagnosed because coroners are not testing for the drug. To help us better understand the power and range of the drug and therefore fight it more acutely, this legislation offers rebates for Fentanyl testing.
- Attach a fee of $80 (cost of one unit of Naloxone) to drug-related offenses to ensure criminals who are contributing to this epidemic are paying into mitigating the consequences of their actions. The fee goes toward paying for the Naloxone grant program, and after 2 years it goes toward paying down the federal debt.
- Extend data center consolidation efforts for 2 more years, resulting in an estimated $500 million in savings and covering the cost of the maximum grant allocation.
According to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in December 2016, “the ongoing epidemic of opioid deaths requires intense attention and action. In a November 2016 report, the Drug Enforcement Administration referred to prescription drugs, heroin, and Fentanyl as the most significant drug-related threats to the United States.” From 2014 to 2015, the death rate from synthetic opioids other than methadone, which includes Fentanyl, increased by 72.2%, and heroin death rates increased by 20.6%. Rates of death involving heroin and synthetic opioids other than methadone increased across all demographic groups, regions, and in numerous states. There is an urgent need for a multifaceted, collaborative public health and law enforcement approach to the opioid epidemic, including expanding Naloxone distribution, among other recommendations.