Faso Supports Declaration of Opioid Crisis as a Public Health Emergency

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Washington, D.C., October 27, 2017 | comments

Washington, D.C. - Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) released the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision to declare our nation’s opioid crisis a "Public Health Emergency."

Congressman Faso said, “Opioid abuse is a genuine epidemic, and I am pleased that the President made this important distinction. It is a national crisis that is has impacted Upstate New York families particularly hard, and I have spoken with too many individuals around my district that can tell a story about a friend or relative that succumbed to addiction, or worse. It is imperative that we meet this challenge with the vigor and resources that it demands.” Faso continued, “I will continue to advocate for more assistance and resources to help our local communities beat back this evil.”

Congressman Faso is a cosponsor of two critical pieces of legislation to fight the devastation caused by the opioid crisis.

H.R. 664, the STOP OD Act, expands funding for treatment and education through CDC and HHS grants. Learn more here.

H.R. 1057, STOP ACT, helps thwart dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped across US borders. The bill requires foreign postal operators to supply advance electronic data to the U.S. Postal Service, which will enable federal law enforcement agencies to track high-risk shipments. Learn more here.

In addition, federal appropriations legislation for FY 2017 provided robust funding for programs designed to curb the epidemic:

  • $801 million total, an increase of $650 million or 430%. Funding went to CDC, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) programs targeted to combat opioid abuse.
  • Specifically, the bill provides a $50 million increase for CDC opioid abuse programs and a $51 million increase to SAMHSA for treatment and overdose reversal, of which $20 million is for Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) authorized programs.
  • The bill also provides $50 million for Community Health Centers treatment and prevention. Further, the bill provides $500 million authorized by the 21st Century CURES Act, $1.9 billion for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, $94 million in mandatory funds to Community Health Centers, and provides an additional $40.3 million to the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the NIH.
Earlier this month, Congressman Faso took to the House Energy and Commerce Committee to deliver remarks about how the opioid crisis is destroying families and communities in New York’s 19th District. View Congressman Faso's remarks here, or by clicking the video below.

Congressman Faso’s testimony was part of a special hearing to allow representatives both on and off the committee to testify about the opioid epidemic, share local and personal stories, and highlight potential legislative solutions.
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