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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate Finance Committee today advanced the Helping to End Addiction and Lessen (HEAL) Substance Use Disorders Act of 2018, legislation that includes seven bipartisan policies that U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) either authored or helped introduce to fight Nevada’s opioid epidemic and provide individuals suffering from addiction increased access to medication and treatment options. A member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Heller voted in support of the legislation, which would strengthen Medicare, Medicaid, and human services programs’ response to the opioid epidemic. The HEAL Substance Use Disorders Act will now go to the full U.S. Senate for consideration. 

The HEAL Substance Use Disorders Act includes several bills that Heller championed, including legislation to: encourage the use of non-opioid treatmentsassist pregnant mothers with a substance use disorder, and expand care for newborns suffering from withdrawal

“Each year, hundreds of Nevadans lose their lives to opioid drug overdoses, and that’s why I’ve been fighting to advance this important legislation. Whether it’s helping pregnant mothers who are struggling with substance abuse, expanding access to care for newborns suffering from withdrawal, or cracking down on fraudulent prescriptions, I’ve been working on bipartisan legislation to help Nevada fight the opioid crisis and provide patients with more treatment options,” said Heller. “I was pleased to see seven proposals that I’ve been pushing to get passed included in the HEAL Substance Use Disorders Act, and I was proud to vote for this legislation that will help our communities combat the opioid crisis. I thank Chairman Hatch for his leadership on this critical legislation, and I look forward to continue working to send it to the President’s desk to be signed into law.”  

In 2016, over 42,000 Americans and more than 600 Nevadans lost their lives due to opioid drug overdoses, including from prescription painkillers. A Department of Justice report found that misused prescription opioids are often obtained illegally using forged or altered prescriptions and by consulting multiple doctors (“doctor shopping”). The report also determined that most prescription fraud remains undetected. The Every Prescription Conveyed Securely (EPCS) Act, which aims to reduce the number of opioids obtained through fraudulent prescriptions or doctor shopping, is also among the Heller-backed proposals included in the HEAL Substance Use Disorders Act.

Heller’s opening statement during the markup can be found HERE or by clicking on the image below.


[Click HERE or the clip above to play the video.]

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