Congressman Tim Ryan Statement on White House Opioid Crisis Commission Urging Trump to Declare a National Emergency

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan released this statement following the publication of the White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis Preliminary Report. The report, among other things, urges President Trump to declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act. Such a declaration make federal funds available for communities struggling to cope with this ongoing addiction epidemic.

In April of this year, Congressman Ryan urged President Trump to declare a public health emergency.

Ryan is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Addiction Treatment and Recover Caucus and member of the Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic. Ending the opioid and prescription drug epidemic remains one of his top priorities.

“We lose 142 people every day to drug overdoses in the United States, making it the number one cause of accidental death. In 2015, we lost over 52,000 Americans to this terrible epidemic.  We cannot turn a blind eye to the catastrophic nature of this ongoing crisis. That is why in April I called on President Trump to declare the opioid epidemic a Public Health Emergency. I am pleased that the White House Opioid Crisis Commission has reached the same conclusion, and I urge him to take swift action to fulfill this request. Lives depend on it each and every day,” said Congressman Ryan. “I am also pleased to see that the Commission recognizes that the Institutes for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion prohibiting Medicaid payments for facilities with more than 16 beds is preventing men and women from getting the treatment they need, and that this outdated policy needs to be repealed. I am proud to have joined with Congresswoman Fudge in introducing the Breaking Addiction Act, which would eliminate the IMD exclusion and increase access to addiction treatment. I call on my colleagues to bring up this legislation immediately so we can help combat this ongoing epidemic.”

Other Opioid Addiciton Legislative Actions by Congressman Ryan:

·In the 114th Congress, Rep. Ryan joined Senator Portman, Senator Whitehouse, and Congressman Sensenbrenner in introducing the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act(CARA), which leverages evidence-based law enforcement and health care services, including treatment that can be used to stop and reverse current trends. On July 22, 2016 CARA was signed into law.

·Rep. Ryan led a letter urging President Trump to include $9.3 billion in his Fiscal  Year 2018 budget for 34 Administration programs at Department of Health and Human Services, Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Department of Justice.

·Rep. Ryan introduced the Stop Trafficking in Fentanyl Act – increase penalties for fentanyl trafficking

·Rep. Ryan introduced the STOP OD Act – which is designed to help stop synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carentanil from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers in the United States

·Rep. Ryan introduced the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act – which takes important steps to bring states closer to fully interoperable Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), to faster respond to inquiries and to better serve the public.

·In 115th Congress, Rep. Ryan joined Congresswoman Marcia Fudge in introducing the Breaking Addiction Act, which takes steps to increase access to treatment by making changes to the IMD exclusion for substance abuse facilities. Under current law, the Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion prohibits Medicaid matching payments for services provided in treatment facilities that have more than 16 beds.  The Breaking Addiction Act removes this outdated policy, allowing states to better utilize Medicaid to serve more people.