McKinley, Blunt Rochester Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Combat Opioid Addiction

Bipartisan Legislation Links Mental Health and Substance Abuse Resources to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

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Washington, January 12, 2021 | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, U.S. Representatives David B. McKinley P.E. (R-W.Va.) and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) introduced the PDMP Help Patients Act, which will help people suffering from addiction or mental illness locate treatment by linking information on treatment to the states' prescription drug monitoring program.

“The COVID -19 pandemic has only further fueled our nations opioid epidemic,” said Rep. McKinley. “Now more than ever we should be equipping providers and patients with every resource possible to provide those with substance abuse and mental health disorders the help they need. I am pleased to continue this critical work with Rep. Blunt Rochester to help combat the opioid epidemic.”

“Delaware’s overdose epidemic may have taken more lives in 2020 than any year before. Prescription drug monitoring programs are a critical tool in combatting the on-going overdose epidemic and I’m proud to join my colleague, Congressman McKinley, in helping states enhance their effectiveness so patients in need are immediately connected to treatment,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester.

Background:

The PDMP is an electronic state database that tracks and records controlled substance prescriptions. When a health care provider writes an opioid or controlled substance prescription for a patient, they can check the database to make sure the patient does not already have an opioid prescription.

The PDMP Help Patients Act would create a pilot program to integrate a substance use disorder and behavioral health treatment locator tool into the PDMP. This would ensure those receiving opioid prescriptions have access to critical resources for mental health services and substance abuse. Health care providers would use this tool to provide resources to patients while PDMP information indicates the possibility of misuse of prescription drugs.

McKinley and Blunt Rochester previously introduced the legislation in the 116th Congress. Full text of the legislation can be found here.

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