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Rounds: Comprehensive Opioids Bill Headed to President’s Desk

Bipartisan, Bicameral Effort Will Help Combat Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement after the Senate voted to pass H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, a bipartisan proposal that includes measures from both House and Senate members to combat the opioid epidemic. This legislation now heads to the president to be signed into law.


“Opioid addiction is a devastating epidemic that has spread to all corners of our society. Nobody is immune from opioid addiction, and many of us may know someone who is struggling right now. The bill we passed today will help put a stop to the heartbreaking issue of opioid abuse in our country. It can help save lives and keep our communities safe and secure. I am glad that members of the Senate and House from both parties could come together to pass this important legislation that will make a difference in the lives of South Dakotans.”

The legislation passed today:

  • Includes the STOP Act which would help stop the shipment of deadly synthetic opioids such as fentanyl,
  • Allows the Federal Drug Administration to require prescription painkillers be packaged in small supplies in blister packs to prevent abuse,
  • Prioritizes research of non-addictive painkillers to replace traditional prescription opioids,
  • Extends support for Medicaid patients seeking treatment for substance abuse disorders from 15 to 30 days,
  • Allows more medical professionals to treat people in recovery to prevent relapse,
  • Improves state prescription drug monitoring programs,
  • Provides support for comprehensive opioid recovery centers,
  • Includes help for babies born in opioid withdrawal and for mothers with opioid abuse disorders.

Congress has made significant strides to address the opioid epidemic, including passage of the Opioid Crisis Response Act and the 21st Century Cures Act. Congress has appropriated a total of $8.5 billion this year for programs to fight the opioid crisis.


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