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May 13, 2016

Aguilar Supports Bipartisan Measures to Combat Opioid Epidemic

This week, Rep. Pete Aguilar joined with Democrat and Republican members of the House of Representatives to pass over a dozen bills to help combat the opioid epidemic that has affected communities across California and the nation. While Rep. Aguilar was pleased to support the bipartisan legislation, he was disappointed that none of the bills allocate funding in any capacity to expand treatment for addiction that would save American lives.

“The opioid epidemic has reached every corner of our nation, including San Bernardino County. Addiction is a debilitating disease that ends lives and destroys families – we cannot wait while this destructive threat continues to tear our communities apart,” said Rep. Aguilar. He continued, “I was glad to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support these measures, however, none of the bills include any funding for treatment programs or resources for first responders, which I find particularly alarming.”

The bills mostly approve studies or create panels of experts on addiction and pain management. Some actions include: establishing a task force to study and release information on treating pain management and prescribing pain medication, improving treatment and care for babies born addicted to opioids, adding additional preventative measures to reduce unused prescriptions from falling into the hands of friends or relatives of patients, and studying the best information and resources about opioid abuse for youth athletes and families.

Rep. Aguilar also supported H.R. 5189, the Democratic Substitute Opioids Package, which would allocate $600 million for resources to combat the opioid crisis. House Republicans blocked the bill from being considered on the floor today.