Major Opioid Abuse Legislation

By: Stericycle

On Oct. 24, President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan bill to fight the opioid crisis into law. The bill, called SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (House Resolution 6), packages dozens of smaller proposals sponsored by hundreds of lawmakers, including a bill that would provide grants to incentivize medication takeback programming in up to five states that was promoted and advocated for by Stericycle.

This takeback portion of the final legislation – authored by Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa – is designed to increase participation in federal prescription drug takeback programming that help combat prescription drug abuse and the growing opioid epidemic. It also addresses the cost of participation by creating a demonstration program, allowing five states to apply for grant funding from the Department of Justice.

Trump said the $6 billion in new funding in the bill aims “to end the scourge of drug addiction in America.” The SUPPORT Act covers both opioid addiction and other types of substance abuse.

Key provisions in the bill include changes to the Medicaid program to expand addiction treatment options and reauthorizations of federal health and public safety programs, among others.

More than 240 million prescriptions were written for opioids in 2014, according to a study from the Department of Health and Human Services. This is more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills. Perhaps more alarming: 40 percent of opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid, as reported by the CDC.

Stericycle Environmental Solutions is committed to combating the opioid crisis through its Seal&Send Medication MailBack Envelopes and Medication Collection Kiosks. Providing a simple and convenient way for consumers to dispose of unused and expired drugs, these envelopes and kiosks are ideal for removing opioids from medicine cabinets across the U.S. in a safe and environmentally-friendly way.

To learn more about these award-winning medication collection kiosks and envelopes from Stericycle Environmental Solutions, click here.