May 24, 2018

Wyden Leads Bipartisan Effort to Address National Opioid Crisis

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today welcomed the introduction of 22 bipartisan Medicare, Medicaid and Human Services bills by his colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee as essential pieces of the work to tackle the growing opioid epidemic in Oregon and nationwide.

“Congress must take real and lasting action to confront this epidemic that’s devastated far too many people and their loved ones,” said Wyden, the committee’s ranking Democrat. “I am gratified by today’s good news because it clearly shows the growing bipartisan momentum to combat opioid abuse with the introduction of these bills taking a significant step towards finding a lasting fix. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Finance Committee to find solutions to help Oregonians and their family members who are struggling with addiction.”

According to a recent report, the State of Oregon had the second highest rate of substance abuse disorder among adults of any state and the highest rate of pain medication misuse in the country between 2015 and 2016.

The introduction of these bills is part of a larger Wyden-led effort on the Finance Committee to address the growing epidemic. In April of this year, the Finance Committee held a hearing to identify effective ways to tackle opioid and other substance use disorders.

Additionally, earlier this year, Wyden’s Family First legislation was passed as part of a broader spending package, which would provide additional funding for early childhood home visiting programs to address the impact of opioid addiction on the child welfare system.

A full list of the bills with text can be found here.