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House Approves Knight Amendment To Prevent Opioid Addiction

Measure Improves Physician and Consumer Education

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Washington, May 12, 2016 | comments

Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) and Representative Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) offered a bipartisan amendment on the House floor this week that would improve physician and consumer education on opioid addiction.

The amendment, which the House adopted unanimously, improves a larger bill, H.R. 4641, that establishes a new inter-agency task force to update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication to guard against the risk of opioid addiction. Esty and Knight’s amendment calls on the inter-agency task force to issue updated recommendations on standards for physician education on strategies to manage patients’ pain without putting them at risk of opioid addiction. It also calls on the task force to issue new guidelines for consumer education programs on the risks of opioid 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. “This is our opportunity to fight back before it is too late.”

Knight and Esty are both members of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, which unveiled a legislative package last week that would address the widespread abuse of heroin and opioids with a range of strategies. Both Representatives, along with Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA), are the original sponsors of the Prevent Drug Addiction Act of 2016, which calls for a comprehensive approach toward preventing opioid addiction. Today’s amendment includes reforms similar to provisions in the Prevent Act that call for improving physician and consumer education.

“My colleagues and I in the House are working across the aisle to address an issue that affects communities across America,” said Rep. Knight. “I am proud to be part of this effort and will continue to work to prevent the suffering caused by heroin and opioid addiction.”

H.R. 4641, the bill to which Esty and Knight’s amendment was added, passed the House by a 412-4 vote. Now a bicameral conference committee is expected to combine all House- and Senate-passed opioid legislation into one comprehensive bill that will be sent to the President’s desk.

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