Congressman Kim Introduces Legislation to Combat Opioid Crisis and Increase Awareness of Opioid and Addiction Solutions
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) and Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) introduced the Solutions Not Stigmas Act to expand and develop education and training programs for substance use disorder (SUD) prevention and treatment.
“The opioid epidemic has crushed communities and families across New Jersey and our nation, and people need our support in this fight,” said Congressman Kim. “I am proud to stand with leading health organizations to introduce this bill that will open the possibility for informed conversations and give more people the tools necessary to tackle addiction and substance use disorders that will save lives. We get much closer to long-term solutions by spreading awareness, breaking down bias, and bringing more people into this conversation. I hope this bill begins that process and helps communities support people with substance use disorders.”
“We must continue to champion and support common-sense solutions to end the opioid crisis. In 2021 we lost over 3,000 New Jerseyans alone to drug overdoses – it is an epidemic that touches all of us,” said Rep. Sherrill. “In order to prevent addiction and increase community awareness, this legislation will increase access for medical and health professionals to resources and clinical training. I’m proud to work with Congressman Kim to find ways to save lives, strengthen communities, and end this epidemic.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 43.3 opioid prescriptions per every 100 people were prescribed to Americans in 2020. For New Jersey’s 3rd District, this would mean an estimated 327,000 opioids prescribed to people in Burlington and Ocean Counties each year. The Solutions Not Stigmas Act would combat this issue of opioid overprescribing. Without acknowledging the possible impact on substance use disorder diagnoses, overprescribing can have dire consequences. This bill would provide health professional schools the necessary resources to develop quality curricula aimed at addressing existing stigma and bias, improving patient care, and increasing preparedness with respect to SUD and chronic pain treatment. This would specifically target gaps in education within the medical field to ensure best practices when prescribing medications.
The Solutions Not Stigmas Act, which was originally introduced in 2019, has been endorsed by the American Association of Medical Colleges, Shatterproof, Physician Assistant Education Association, and the American College of Academic Addiction Medicine.
Congressman Kim is a member of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force. Congressman Kim previously introduced the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act and Synthetic Opioid Danger Awareness Act that were passed through the House this year. He also secured $300,000 for Burlington County’s HOPE One, $621 million for veteran opioid abuse prevention and $3.9 billion for substance abuse treatment in the FY 2022 government funding package. More information about Congressman Kim can be found on his website by clicking here.