WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today released the following statement on reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) that the rate of opioid prescriptions in the U.S. fell 18 percent over five years after peaking in 2010.
“The recently-released analysis is encouraging and shows that our efforts to curb prescription drug abuse are producing results. Still - with a prescribing rate in 2015 three times higher than it was in 1999 - it is clear that there is more work to be done to protect families in Minnesota and across the country. Passing my bipartisan Prescription Drug Monitoring Act would help stop addiction before it starts by ensuring prescribers have the information they need to make the best decision for their patients and reduce the number of prescription opioids winding up in the wrong hands fueling this epidemic.”
As a former Hennepin County Attorney, Klobuchar has long led local and national efforts to curb drug abuse and help people overcome addiction. Klobuchar was one of four senators, along with Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), to lead the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). This bipartisan bill, which was signed into law last July, encourages states and local communities to pursue a full array of proven strategies in the fight against opioid addiction. At the end of 2016, $1 billion was made available by Congress to fund the national effort. To build on the monumental first step of CARA, Klobuchar introduced the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act, which would require the use of 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.
Earlier this 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 and the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) 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. The STOP Act would help close a loophole in the U.S. postal system to stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers in the U.S.
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.