Klobuchar has introduced legislation with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to encourage states and local communities to pursue a full array of proven strategies in the fight against addiction
Bill includes Klobuchar’s provision to combat drug abuse by enhancing prescription drug monitoring programs
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) highlighted her efforts to combat prescription drug abuse and submitted testimony from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in Minnesota at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday. The hearing focused on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which the senator has introduced with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to encourage states and local communities to pursue a full array of proven strategies in the fight against addiction. The bill includes Klobuchar’s provision to combat drug abuse by enhancing prescription drug monitoring programs. At the hearing, representatives from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse voiced their support for the bill.
“As a former prosecutor, I have seen firsthand the devastating effects drug abuse can have on families in Minnesota and across the country, and we can spare no effort to reverse this deadly trend,” Klobuchar said. “If we’re going to be successful in the fight to prevent abuse, we need to take a comprehensive approach. This commonsense, bipartisan legislation includes my provision to strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs across the country and will help ensure that communities have the resources they need to combat this epidemic.”
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act would:
- Expand prevention and educational efforts—particularly aimed at teens, parents and other caretakers, and aging populations—to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery.
- Expand the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders to help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives.
- Expand resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction disorders promptly by collaborating with criminal justice stakeholders and by providing evidence-based treatment.
- Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the hands of our children and adolescents.
- Launch an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and interventions program.
- Strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs to help states monitor and track prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals access services.
The legislation is also supported by the National District Attorneys Association, the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD), Faces and Voices of Recovery, the National Council for Behavioral Health, and the Major County Sheriffs' Association, among others.
Klobuchar has long led local and national efforts to curb drug abuse and help people overcome addiction. As Chair of the Steering and Outreach Committee, Klobuchar led a meeting with stakeholders representing law enforcement, health care, and community outreach to discuss solutions to combat drug abuse in November.
In September 2014, the DEA implemented Klobuchar’s bipartisan Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act. Under the legislation, consumers are being provided with more safe and responsible ways to dispose of unused prescription medications and controlled substances. In August, Klobuchar delivered a keynote address at Minnesota’s Opioid Summit to over 1,000 stakeholders from the law enforcement, health care, medical, and legal communities, along with recovering addicts and families from across Minnesota.
For broadcast-quality video of Klobuchar’s remarks at the hearing, click here.