Tester supports legislation to treat and prevent opioid drug addiction

Senator commits to finding path forward for pain treatment research

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester today supported bipartisan legislation that will treat and prevent opioid drug addiction and increase prevention and treatment efforts across Montana.

Tester joined 93 of his Senate colleagues in passing the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act to expand opioid drug education to vulnerable populations including teens and seniors.

“Drug addiction is plaguing our families and communities, and taking a toll on our society,” Tester said. “This bill expands treatment so we can help those who are struggling, while also educating folks about the dangers of drug addiction. This bill will help save lives and money.”

According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, from 2011-2013 prescription drug overdoses were responsible for at least 369 deaths in Montana and more than 7,200 hospital inpatient admissions and emergency department encounters statewide.

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act will also:
• Expand the availability of naloxone, a drug used to treat narcotic overdoses, to law enforcement agencies and other first responders
• Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the hands of our children and adolescents
• Strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs to help states track prescription drug diversion

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives.