Sweeping opioid legislation signed into law by President Trump


WASHINGTON - President Trump signed the most sweeping legislation to deal with the country’s opioid epidemic on Wednesday.

Those who worked on the bill say it restores hope in so many parts of the country where people have become hopeless.

“Some people might think it’s a big city problem or some other state’s problem but it’s not only in your town, it’s on your street or could be in your home,” said Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, in an interview Wednesday.

In Washington, some involved in crafting the legislation are celebrating that President Trump has now signed it into law.

This follows a year in which 72,000 people died of overdoses, nearly 50,000 of which were opioid related, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Immediate changes include:

More money for treatment...though critics say it’s not nearly enough.

Expanded access to Naloxone --a medication that reverses opioid overdoses.

Lifting some restrictions to treatment for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says it also encourages doctors to stop doling out 30 day supplies of opioid medication.

“We've looked at evidence for how doctors prescribe and what patients actually need and what it shows patients only need one or two following a minor surgery,” Gottlieb said, adding the crisis in many ways started in doctor’s offices across the country, which is why it has hit every race, gender and income level.

“I can’t tell you how many folks I’ve talked to who have worked to overcome their additions who say i was raised in a loving family, with two parents. It doesn’t really matter it could be anybody,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia.

Just to really hit home how much the opioid epidemic impacts everyone, at a time in Washington when it seems congress can’t agree on anything, this legislation passed with overwhelming bipartisan support - 393 to 8 in the house and 98-1 in the senate.

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