This bill would implement several policies aimed at reducing the prevalence of heroin and prescription opioid abuse. It would also reauthorize and create grant programs to track the prescription of opioids, prevent addiction, improve overdose responses, and extend existing drug education programs.
An existing program that gives grants to states to set up, implement, and improve electronic reporting programs that log opioid prescriptions to identify patients at risk of addiction. The purpose of this is to initiate interventions when appropriate to prevent addiction from developing in the first place.
In order to improve the preparedness of local first responders around the country, a grant program focused on training to administer counter-overdose medication would be created.
An interagency taskforce would be established to develop best practices for pain management and prescription of pain medication. It would include the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Dept. of Defense (DOD), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). These entities would be required to deliver a report to Congress within 270 days of being formed.
The ONDCP would be directed to establish a national drug awareness campaign focused on the link between prescription drug abuse.
Another existing program that would be reauthorized by this legislation is the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Program. It provides funding for law enforcement programs, prosecution and court programs, drug treatment and prevention programs, and technology upgrades.