Senator Mike Braun joins fellow bill sponsors Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) celebrating Congress passing the Department of Defense Overdose Data (DOD) Act as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The bill will address the impacts of the opioid epidemic on members of the U.S. military and their families. It requires the Department of Defense to collect an array of data needed to track and address the problem of military overdoses and requires that drugs to reverse opioid overdose like naloxone are available on all military installations and operational environments.

“The federal government has a responsibility to protect the lives of service members, many of whom are impacted by the overdose crisis that has reached every corner of our country,” said the Senators. “Over the last five years, we’ve lost hundreds of members of the military to overdose. This is a preventable crisis, and failing to act is immoral and a betrayal of the commitment we made to our service members. By requiring the Department of Defense to track and report on overdose data and distribute overdose reversal medication to service members, we will help ensure no one else loses a loved one in uniform to a drug overdose. We look forward to this essential legislation being signed into law and the lives it will save in communities all across our country.”

Specifically, the DOD Act as passed by Congress would require the Department of Defense to: 

1. Report annually on overdoses among members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Space Force and related data, including demographic data, substances involved, number of intentional overdoses, number of members prescribed or provided naloxone before overdose, previous prescriptions, co-morbid mental health diagnoses, referral to treatment, history of positive drug tests, analysis of discernible patterns in overdoses, existing and anticipated response efforts, access to treatment, and available treatment programs, and; 

2. Ensure naloxone and any other medication to reverse opioid overdose is available on all military installations and in each operational environment. 

Cosponsors in the Senate include Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Angus King (I-Maine), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), and John Fetterman (D-Pa.).