Press Releases

Knight introduces bill to prevent opioid addiction among veterans

Bill would address overprescriptions in military healthcare

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Washington, DC, June 26, 2018 | Chris Jusuf ((202) 225-1956) | comments

Last Wednesday, June 20, 2018, Representative Steve Knight (R-CA) introduced H.R. 6165, the Combating Opioid Misuse Before Addiction for our Troops (COMBAT) Act, with Representative Tom O'Halleran (D-AZ) and Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA). This bipartisan bill prevents the overprescription of opioids to active duty servicemembers, their families, and retirees who use TRICARE by requiring the implementation of a seven day first-fill limit for opioid prescriptions. The COMBAT Act is sponsored by Rep. O'Halleran with Rep. Knight as the Republican co-lead.

“One of the primary causes of the opioid epidemic is the over-prescription and easy proliferation of powerful painkillers and other opioids,” said Congressman Knight “The COMBAT Act will help curtail this problem by more responsibly controlling the flow of these drugs while still allowing care providers the flexibility to address unique patient needs. I’m proud to co-lead this measure with Representative O’Halleran and would like to thank him for his leadership on this issue.”

“TRICARE beneficiaries, including retirees, experiencing acute pain can easily fall victim to opioid addiction without realizing it until it is too late. No one should be walking away from their doctor’s appointment with a prescription for more pain medication than necessary, and according to the CDC anything more than a seven day supply is rarely needed,” said Rep. O’Halleran “States and private industry are leading the charge in stopping overprescription, and Congress must follow suit and provide this population with the support they need. This commonsense measure will place a reasonable limit on opioid prescriptions to prevent abuse and addiction.”

“In my 18 years as a police officer, I saw firsthand the damage that opiates and other drugs can inflict on families and communities,” said Rep. Knight. "Military service members risk their lives to keep our nation safe and we owe it to them to ensure the care they receive is properly structured so they they may live long, happy, and healthy lives.”

Representative Knight is a former officer of the Los Angeles Police Department and current member of the House Armed Services Committee. He is also a member of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force in the House of Representatives.

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