June 13, 2018

U.S. House Passes Version of Bipartisan Hassan-Capito Legislation to Establish Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers

House Also Passes Bipartisan Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act, Advancing Cutting-Edge (ACE) Research Act

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House last night passed a version of bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Senator Shelley Capito (R-WV), to establish comprehensive opioid recovery centers that would provide coordinated care to Americans struggling with addiction.

The bipartisan Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Act, which passed the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee as part of a package of bills to combat the opioid crisis, would create a pilot program allowing the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to eligible entities to expand existing treatment centers to serve as “Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers.” These centers would provide a full range of treatment and recovery services, including medication-assisted treatment, recovery housing, job training and support reintegrating into the workforce, counseling, community-based and peer recovery support service, and more. States with higher overdose death rates, such as New Hampshire and West Virginia, would be given priority for these grants. The legislation in the House of Representatives was introduced by Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Congressman Gene Green (D-TX).

“I am grateful that the House of Representatives unanimously passed this important bipartisan bill to help provide Granite Staters and Americans struggling with substance use disorder the comprehensive and coordinated care that they need,” Senator Hassan said. “Now, it is critical that the full Senate passes this bill, along with other critical legislation to combat this crisis, without delay. I will continue to work with Senator Shelley Moore Capito to move this bipartisan measure forward to help save lives and ensure that our constituents in treatment have the wraparound support they need to get their lives back on track.”   

“Comprehensive opioid recovery centers play a crucial role in helping individuals struggling with addiction, providing them the resources and support they need. The CORC Act that Senator Hassan and I introduced earlier this year will give our communities the tools to expand the services offered at existing recovery centers,” Senator Capito said. “I applaud the House for passing their version of this bill and for moving this legislative solution one step closer to the finish line.”

Yesterday, the House also passed the bipartisan Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act, which Senators Hassan and Capito cosponsored to ensure that unused opioids don’t get into the wrong hands by permitting hospice staff to dispose of controlled substances when a patient passes away. Additionally, the House passed the bipartisan Advancing Cutting-Edge (ACE) Research Act, which Senator Hassan cosponsored to provide the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with more flexible authority to conduct innovative research to increase scientific understanding and lead to ways to prevent, treat, diagnose and cure disease, including research that is urgently required to respond to public health threats such as the opioid crisis. Both the Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act and Advancing Cutting-Edge (ACE) Research Act were included in the bipartisan package of legislation to combat the opioid crisis that the HELP Committee passed in April.