homepage logo

Kuster urges comprehensive approach to combat fentanyl crisis

By Staff | May 26, 2023

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force, urged her colleagues to support her bipartisan legislation, the STOP Fentanyl Overdoses Act, to address the fentanyl crisis, stop the flow of illicit drugs entering the U.S., and take a public health approach to help save lives. Kuster spoke on the floor in response to Republican legislation, the HALT Fentanyl Act, which only takes the limited step of scheduling fentanyl, but fails to address the complex nature of this crisis.

The STOP Fentanyl Overdoses Act would take concrete steps forward to address the substance use crisis and change our national approach by:

Expanding testing for fentanyl and related substances and increasing information sharing by public health departments and law enforcement for the purpose of identifying public health threats and preventing overdoses;

Providing grant funding to compile overdose data through the CDC and facilitate surveillance of seized heroin, fentanyl, and associated synthetic drugs by forensic laboratories;

Improving accessibility to overdose reversal medications and ensuring they are more available across the country;

This is a change from the original version of the legislation.

Limiting civil and criminal liability under specified laws for individuals who administer opioid overdose reversal medication to an individual who reasonably appears to be experiencing an overdose;

Establishing a program to offer medication treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) to individuals who are incarcerated;

Providing grant funding to states and local government entities to educate health care providers, criminal justice professionals, and substance use disorder treatment personnel on the current state of research on treatment for opioid dependence; and

Requiring reporting that will help to enhance surveillance, prevention, and treatment efforts, including a report on naloxone access and affordability, international mail and cargo screening, and overdose prevention centers.


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *