New bill to combat opioid addiction signed into law
A new bill to fight the nation's opioid epidemic was signed into law Wednesday. President Donald Trump signed the bill after popular support in both the Senate and House.
The Associated Press reports that nearly 48,000 people died from drug overdoses involving opioids in 2017, including 108 deaths in Alaska.
The bill contains several provisions including allowing the National Institutes of Health do study research projects. It also institutes Jessie's Law, which aims to better integrate substance abuse treatment into electronic health records.
Alaska's Sen. Lisa Murkowski co-sponsored or introduced these parts of the bill. Murkowski is a member of the Senate HELP Committee, which focuses on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. It passed the Senate 98-1.
"Opioids have caused destruction for far too long," Murkowski said. "This epidemic has not only harmed those that are addicted, but also their loved ones and entire communities; this legislation supports those in recovery as well as their families and children."
The bill also will allow the U.S. Postal Service to screen overseas packages for fentanyl, a strong synthetic opioid. It also opens the available funding for grants to Tribes, specifically setting up 5 percent for tribal use.
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