Opioid Bills Taken Up By Congress, Keating Amendment Passes House

GettyImages_477484225WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ninth District Congressman William Keating (D-Bourne) introduced amendments to two House bills this week pertaining to the opioid crisis.

The first proposal, which passed Wednesday, would require the inter-agency task force reviewing best practices for pain management to consider the practice of co-prescribing Narcan with some medications. The amendment was introduced by Keating and Congressman Keith Rothus, a Pennsylvania Republican.

A second amendment would authorize additional funding for drug take-back programs by making them authorized uses of money made available by the proposed Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Grant Program. The proposal has garnered bi-partisan support from congressmen from California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

Keating’s office believes the second amendment will be taken up Thursday.

“For over a decade and a half – starting from my time as a District Attorney – I have been working to curb opioid abuse in our communities,” Keating said in a release. “Back then, an average of two people a day were dying in Massachusetts from this epidemic.  Now it’s four.  The opioid abuse crisis is so great that it has brought consensus in this often-divided Congress that we must act.”

“The bills taken up this week are a strong start, but there is no doubt that our work is far from done,” Keating added.

Barnstable County has the highest per capita rate of overdose deaths in Massachusetts, followed by Plymouth County. The overdose rate in both counties nearly double the state average.

According to statistics from Keating’s office, the number of opioid-related deaths in the Ninth District increased by an average of 21 percent each year from 2010 to 2014.

By MATT McCARTHY, CapeCod.com NewsCenter 

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