WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) proclaimed victory on a measure that he authored—the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, or H.R. 6.
The SUPPORT For Patients an Communities Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives with "overwhelming" bipartisan support, 396-14.
"Not only are we passing legislation that will save lives, but we want to leave no doubt in the minds of those suffering from addiction that the United States House of Representatives—Republicans and Democrats alike—stand with them. For too long, embarrassment and stigma surrounded the disease of addiction. It’s time for that to change," said Rep. Walden.
H.R. 6 actually represents a large bundle of separate bills that were all aimed to address different aspects of the opioid epidemic, amounting to a many-pronged approach. It includes improvements to Medicaid, Medicare, orders the Food and Drug Administration to explore non-addictive pain treatments, and increases the availability of naloxone, among a long list of other changes.
According to a statement from Rep. Walden's office, the SUPPORT Act will help efforts to advance treatment and recovery initiatives, improve prevention, protect communities, and bolster efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl.
"Today, we have an opportunity to continue our work in combating this crisis, an opportunity to save lives, and we cannot let it pass," said Rep. Walden. "We owe it to our families, friends, communities, and our country to lift people out of addiction and, together, win this fight."
Meetings with victims, families, treatment advocates, medical providers and law enforcement officers helped to craft the legislation that went into H.R. 6, according to Rep. Walden's office.
A summary of the SUPPORT For Patients and Communities Act and its many parts may be viewed below: