Scott Voted to Address Growing Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse in America

Washington – U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), co-chair of the Senate Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus, today votedfor the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S. 524). This bipartisan legislation is designed to ensure that available federal resources are devoted to high-performing evidence-based education, treatment and recovery programs. The bill passed 94-1in the Senate.
Today, heroin and prescription drug abuse surpasses car accidents as the number-one cause of injury-related deaths nationwide. In 2014, 28,647Americans, including 516 South Carolinians, died from drug-related deaths and opioid overdoses.

“Heroin and prescription drug abuse is wreaking havoc on the lives of individuals, families and communities all around our nation,”Scott said. “No community or group seems to be immune from its dangers, and we must act to stem the tide of this epidemic. I voted for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Actbecause this common-sense measure will give more communities stronger tools to fight the growing opioid epidemic in our nation.”

Sponsored by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act would:

  • Expand prevention and educational efforts-particularly aimed at teens, parents and other caretakers, and aging populations-to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery.
  • Expand the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders to help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives.
  • Expand resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction disorders promptly by collaborating with criminal justice stakeholders and by providing evidence-based treatment.
  • Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the hands of our children and adolescents.
  • Launch an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and interventions program. While we have medications that can help treat addiction, there is a critical need to get the training and resources necessary to expand treatment best practices throughout the country.
  • Strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs to help states monitor and track prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals access services.

The legislation is supported by more than 130 national anti-drug groups, including the National District Attorneys Association, the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD), Faces and Voices of Recovery, the National Council for Behavioral Health, and the Major County Sheriffs’ Association.

Senator Scott, along with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), launched the Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus last May in an effort to raise awareness and show that the United States Senate is serious about helping the millions of American families whose lives have been torn apart by prescription drug abuse.