Donnelly, Ayotte Introduce Bill to Combat Heroin Use and Prescription Drug Abuse ...introduced bipartisan legislation that aims to stop the abuse of prescription pain medication while also giving law enforcement the tools they need to prevent heroin use and addiction.
PoliticalNews.me - Jun 25,2014 - Donnelly, Ayotte Introduce Bill to Combat Heroin Use and Prescription Drug Abuse
Washington, D.C. – As part of their ongoing efforts to address the nation’s growing heroin and prescription drug epidemics, U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) have introduced bipartisan legislation that aims to stop the abuse of prescription pain medication while also giving law enforcement the tools they need to prevent heroin use and addiction.
With roughly four out of every five new heroin users saying they became addicted to prescription pain medication before using heroin, the Ayotte-Donnelly bill creates an interagency task force to develop prescribing practices for pain medication that will work to ensure proper pain management for patients, while also preventing prescription opioid abuse.
“There is an epidemic in Hoosier communities both large and small, rural and urban: heroin use, addiction, and related deaths are on the rise,” said Senator Donnelly. “Prescription drug abuse also remains a serious problem throughout Indiana, and many heroin users report having first abused prescription drugs before turning to heroin. I have spoken with members of the Indiana law enforcement and medical communities, as well as with elected officials about these challenges. What I hear is that it is going to take partnerships and coordination on the local, state, and federal levels in order to begin to combat the increasing levels of heroin use and ongoing prescription drug abuse. I am proud to join my friend Senator Ayotte in putting forth a bill that would support this necessary coordination amongst medical professionals, law enforcement, and those working on drug control policy.”
“First responders and public health officials in New Hampshire have told me that abuse of prescription pain medication can lead down the path to heroin use and addiction. This bipartisan legislation takes a multi-pronged approach to address the prescription opioid and heroin abuse epidemics by calling for the development of widely-recognized best prescribing practices related to pain management,” said Senator Ayotte. “The bill will also give law enforcement greater access to important tools to fight heroin use, and calls for a well-coordinated drug awareness campaign with a particular focus on the links between prescription opioid abuse and heroin addiction. I’m pleased to work with Senator Donnelly on this common sense legislation, which addresses an urgent public health matter.”
The Ayotte-Donnelly bill’s “Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force” would be comprised of prescribers, pharmacists, officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Defense Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Veterans Affairs Department, as well as treatment providers and representatives from pain advocacy groups and pain professional organizations, in addition to experts in the field of pain research and addiction research.
The task force would be responsible for developing best practices in the prescribing of pain medication and related pain management, and then producing a strategy for disseminating information about best practices to prescribers, pharmacists, and state medical boards. Additionally, the task force would be required to submit a report on the pros and cons of