New Opioid Legislation Approved by the House
This past June, the United States House of Representatives passed opioid legislation to combat a crisis that is tearing apart communities from coast to coast. The package of bills called the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act was approved in a 396-14 bipartisan vote.
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers from across the political spectrum and their staffers’ lawmakers have stated that the crisis has become one of the most pressing issues they hear about from their constituents. In 2016, over 42,000 Americans overdosed on opiates with a daily average of 115 people dying from an opioid overdose in the United States.
If you or your loved one was charged with a drug crime, you have rights. Contact a Pittsburgh drug lawyer at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC for a free and confidential consultation today at (412) 281-2146.
New Opiate Legislation Set to Take Effect at Year’s End
Despite the urgency of the situation, the SUPPORT Act will not take effect immediately. The Senate and House versions of the bill need to be reconciled before heading to the President’s desk for a signature. The bill is set to take effect by the end of the year.
The final legislative package is expected to direct a wide range of government action to counter the opiate crisis. Specifically, the SUPPORT Act will put in place the following initiatives:
- Authorize grants for states and municipalities to build laboratories for detecting fentanyl and other synthetic opiates.
- Provide additional funding to increase the capacity to intercept fentanyl at mail facilities.
- Allow Medicaid to pay for people’s treatment at mental health inpatient facilities for up to 30 days.
- Restore Medicaid assistance for juveniles that have been incarcerated.
- Give doctors guidelines for sharing information about their patients’ addiction history.
- Reauthorize Poison Control Centers to provide free and confidential medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Direct the Center for Disease Control to implement an initiative to improve education, surveillance, and treatment of injection drug-associated infections, such as hepatitis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
- Introduce measures to combat the overprescription of opiates to patients by their physicians.
Our Pittsburgh Drug Attorneys Are Here For You
At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, our legal team closely follows both national and local efforts to deal with the opioid crisis. If you or a loved one has been charged with the possession or trafficking of a controlled substance, a Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer can help you during this challenging time. Contact us today at (412) 281-2146 for a free, no-obligation case consultation.