Bustos Helps Pass Bipartisan Package of Bills to Address Heroin Epidemic

Bustos’ Bill to Improve Care for Babies Born Addicted to Heroin is Included in the Legislation

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Bustos voted in favor of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, a compromise piece of legislation between the House of Representatives and United States Senate to address the heroin epidemic that’s affecting communities across our nation.

“Heroin addiction has devastated too many families and taken far too many lives and we must do more to address this epidemic,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “While this legislation is not as robust as I think it should be, I am pleased that we were able to come to a bipartisan compromise to provide this much needed support. I am also very proud that my bill to improve care for babies born with heroin addiction was included because all of our children deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential. As communities across Illinois fight this epidemic, I will continue to do everything in my power to help ensure that everyone struggling with addiction receives the treatment and care they desperately need.”

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act contain many bipartisan provisions to assist individuals and communities that have been impacted by the heroin epidemic. One of those provisions, the Nurturing and Supporting Healthy Babies Act, was introduced by Congresswoman Bustos and passed the House of Representatives in May.

Background on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act:

  • The legislation requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to convene a task force to determine whether there are gaps or inconsistencies between best practices for chronic and acute pain management.
  • To assist law enforcement and treatment, it codifies a grant program at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to expand access to life-saving opioid overdose reversal drugs for first responders and other key community organizations.
  • CARA also allows HHS to provide grants to community organizations to develop, expand, and enhance recovery services and build connections between recovery networks, including physicians, the criminal justice system, employers, and other recovery support systems.
  • The legislation authorizes HHS to award grants to States and combinations of States to carry out a comprehensive opioid abuse response, including education, treatment, and recovery efforts, maintaining prescription drug monitoring programs, and efforts to prevent overdose deaths.
  • You can read a full summary by clicking here.

Background on Congresswoman Bustos’ Nurturing and Supporting Healthy Babies Act which was included in CARA:

Nurturing and Supporting Healthy Babies Act works to expand our knowledge of care of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), including the prevalence of NAS in the United States, the number of NAS babies covered by Medicaid, the settings for care for NAS babies, and access to care for NAS babies under state Medicaid programs. The bill also directs the Government Accountability Office to identify any federal obstacles to care for NAS babies.