Washington, D.C. — Wednesday, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly helped the Senate pass the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act, which includes $1 billion over the next two years to help combat the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemics. Funding will be distributed to states to help them address these drug epidemics. In late November, Donnelly and several colleagues called for the Senate to pass this necessary, emergency funding to address these public health crises before the end of the year. The 21st Century Cures Act recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support and now goes to President Obama for his signature.
Donnelly said, “I believe it takes all of us working together to confront the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemics. I pushed for the Senate to pass this funding because it will provide critical resources for states to help fight opioid abuse. I am proud this legislation will soon become law, as it will help fund prevention and recovery initiatives across the country.
“In addition, this legislation includes funding to spur medical innovation and support research to develop cures for diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.”
Over the past three years, as Indiana has been devastated by these public health crises, Donnelly has actively fought for both new efforts to help with prevention, treatment, and recovery and the funding necessary to support those programs.
This summer, Donnelly helped the Senate pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which became law in July, authorizing a number of grant programs.
Several of Donnelly’s bipartisan provisions became law in 2016 as part of CARA. His provisions were adopted from his bipartisan legislation to update best practices for pain management and raise public awareness, as well as a bipartisan provision he authored that encourages first responder units to connect individuals who receive naloxone with treatment and other necessary services. CARA also includes tools to prevent drug addiction and expands access to treatment and support for individuals in recovery.
In September, Donnelly helped the Senate pass short-term legislation to keep the government running, and it included $37 million in new funding to begin implementation of CARA. These funds are helping jumpstart four grant programs in CARA focused on prevention, treatment, and recovery.