New Report on Opioid Addiction: Dying Waiting for Treament

Every day I hear from Oregonians who have struggled with opioid addiction themselves or are watching their friends and family struggle. We're losing too many friends, family members, neighbors and children to opioid addiction and there's too few resources to help them.

As ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, I put together a report released last week detailing just how few resources are accessible to Americans struggling with opioid addiction and how, without additional funding, Americans will continue to die while waiting for treatment.


Earlier this year Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act which authorizes increased and evidence-based treatment and prevention programs to help curb the opioid epidemic.

Here's the problem: Republicans left town without passing our request to actually fund these important programs.

So, while the programs could exist, in reality they don’t because Republicans only guaranteed $7 million of the $920 million needed to fund the programs Congress agreed to when they passed the bill. That’s like using a thimbleful of water to extinguish an inferno.

What I found:

The report, "Dying Waiting for Treatment," outlines the devastating consequences of underfunding addiction treatment in America. The report found that over 35,000 Oregonians need treatment, but are unable to receive it because our facilities are at capacity. And there are only enough health providers to help 1 in every 238 Americans seeking treatment.

Without funding nothing changes. Those suffering from opioid addiction will continue to die every day waiting for treatment.

My hope is that my colleagues will look at the facts my report lays out, which shows that thousands of Americans are dying waiting for treatment, and finally take action to fund these opioid treatment programs before the epidemic gets any worse.