Engel Fights Opioid Crisis With New Legislation

Engel Fights Opioid Crisis With New Legislation

Washington, D.C.—Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, participated in a two-day subcommittee hearing this week examining solutions to the opioid crisis. The subcommittee considered more than two dozen bills, including two co-authored by Congressman Engel: H.R. 5272, the Reinforcing Evidence-Based Standards Under Law in Treating Substance Abuse (RESULTS) Act, and H.R. 5329, the Poison Center Network Enhancement Act.

The RESULTS Act, co-led by Congressman Engel and Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH), would ensure that federal grants intended to treat mental health and substance use disorders fund activities that are backed by sound evidence. The legislation also ensures stakeholders have the necessary tools to emulate successful programs in their communities.

The committee also considered thePoison Center Network Enhancement Act, legislation co-led by Congressman Engel and Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN). This bill will reauthorize the nation’s poison center program for an additional five years. Since 2011, U.S. poison centers have handled nearly 200 cases per day involving opioid misuse. Poison center experts have also helped detect trends in the epidemic and educated Americans about the crisis. This bill would ensure these activities continue. Congressman Engel co-authored the last poison center reauthorization, the Poison Center Network Act (P.L. 113-77), which was signed into law in 2014.

“More action is needed to turn the tide on the opioid crisis, which is why I have co-authored these two bipartisan bills,” Engel said. “Too many of our friends and neighbors have been touched by this heartbreaking crisis. In Westchester County, 124 people died due to opioids in 2016. In the Bronx, more New Yorkers died of overdoses than in any other borough. This has to stop.

“I hope that the solutions I’ve sponsored can help bring this public health emergency to an end – but the Trump Administration must act, too. Medicaid and the protections guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act have helped Americans grappling with substance use disorders get the treatment they need. If the Trump Administration is serious about ending the opioid epidemic, the attacks on these lifelines must end.”