Senate Passes Bill to Support Substance Abuse Treatment

Responding to a drug crisis that has contributed to more American deaths than car crashes, the Senate passed a broad drug treatment and prevention bill, the largest of its kind since a law in 2008 that mandated insurance coverage for addiction treatment.

The measure authorizes money for various treatment and prevention programs.  It also strengthens prescription drug monitoring programs to help states and expands the availability of the drug naloxone, which helps reverse overdoses, to law enforcement agencies.

It also increases disposal sites for prescription medications that are often abused by teenagers and others. “This is a strong signal that the United States Congress now gets this issue,” Mr. Portman said in a news conference after the vote.

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