Funding will go to assist states to pay for treatment and preventio 

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today announced a national $3.3 billion increase in funding to combat the opioid epidemic in the recently passed funding bill. The funding will go to assist states to pay for treatment and prevention. It also includes funding for drug courts and veterans treatment courts. These courts are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic and serve as important resources for law enforcement and other community stakeholders affected by opioid addiction and related crimes, helping more than 1.25 million citizens and veterans.

“In Minnesota, there were 637 deaths from opioid and other drug overdoses in 2016—more than the number of deaths from car crashes and homicides combined,” Klobuchar said. “This crucial funding will increase our commitment to proven prevention strategies and expand access to treatment for those suffering from addiction. Doubling down on the opioid crisis is as critical as ever, and this funding will help more families access the recovery and prevention services they need.”

As a former Hennepin County Attorney, Klobuchar has long led local and national efforts to curb drug abuse and help people overcome addiction. In February, Klobuchar and Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 2.0 Act. The bill will increase the funding authorization levels for the CARA programs enacted in 2016 and put in place additional policy reforms to help combat the opioid epidemic.

To build on the monumental first step of CARA, Klobuchar introduced the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act, which would require the use of strong prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in all states that receive certain federal funding to combat opioid abuse and also requires states to make their PDMP data available to other states.

Last year, she and ten other senators introduced the Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment (LifeBOAT) Act, which would establish a reliable funding stream to provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment. She and a bipartisan group of senators also introduced the Synthetic Abuse and Labeling of Toxic Substances (SALTS) Act. The SALTS Act would make it easier to prosecute the sale of “analogue” drugs, which are synthetic substances that are substantially similar to illegal drugs.

Last year, Klobuchar and Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced the bipartisan Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act to help stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers in the United States.

In September 2014, the DEA implemented Klobuchar’s bipartisan Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act. Under the legislation, consumers are provided with more safe and responsible ways to dispose of unused prescription medications and controlled substances.