TURNER Combats Opioid Epidemic

September 28, 2018

Today, the House passed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which included two of Congressman Mike Turner’s (OH-10) bills to combat the opioid epidemic, the CRIB Act and the Medicaid Reentry Act, in addition to numerous bills Congressman Turner cosponsored.

“The opioid epidemic is unlike anything we’ve seen,” said Congressman Turner. “I’ve worked for 5 years to combat this epidemic. I am incredibly proud that today’s package addressing this issue includes two key provisions I’ve been pushing through Congress for years to help vulnerable victims of this drug crisis: the CRIB Act to fund specialized treatment for infants born addicted to opiates, and the Medicaid Reentry Act to better assess how we can provide substance abuse treatment to addicted incarcerated individuals. These bills came as a direct result from members of our community expressing to me the need for this legislation. We are now one step closer to solving these problems.”

Congressman Turner’s Caring Recovery for Infants and Babies (CRIB) Act, included in the legislation, would expand access to specialized, family-based treatment options for babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). CRIB would permit residential pediatric recovery facilities that focus on providing medical care to infants with NAS, like Brigid’s Path in Kettering, to serve more lower- and moderate-income families. Through CRIB, states would be given the flexibility to partner with these residential pediatric recovery facilities by allowing them to bill Medicaid for the services they offer.

The Medicaid Reentry Act, also sponsored by Congressman Turner, helps incarcerated individuals transition smoothly back into society after their release. Studies show that those recovering from a substance use disorder are over 100 times more likely to die of an overdose during the first two weeks of released as opposed to the general population. This bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services to develop, in collaboration with stakeholders and experts, guidance on how to expand and improve substance abuse treatment services for people exiting prison or jail.

The bipartisan SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act combats illicit and synthetic drugs coming across our borders, removes outdated barriers that hamper access to care, addresses the effects of the opioid crisis on children and families, and continues to provide funding to boost programs that fight, treat, and stop substance abuse.