Tim Ryan, David Joyce Join Congressman Sensenbrenner to Introduce Comprehensive Legislation Combating Drug Addiction

Washington, D.C. – With increasing numbers of Americans falling victim to drug addiction and overdoses from heroin and opiates, Congressman Tim Ryan (D, OH-13) and Congressman David Joyce (R, OH-14) joined Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R, WI-5) in introducing bipartisan legislation that could help turn the tide in the struggle against this epidemic.

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2014 provides a series of incentives and resources designed to encourage states and local communities to advance a continuum of proven strategies to combat addiction. Among other things, the bill would expand prevention and education efforts— particularly aimed at teens, parents and other caretakers, and aging populations—to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery. It would also expand the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders to help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives, and strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs to help states monitor and track prescription drug diversion.

“There is no question that heroin and opiate addiction ruins lives, disrupts families and contributes to destabilizing our neighborhoods,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “The provisions in this bill have already been shown to work, and will help us fight this epidemic by providing the tools needed by the law enforcement community and others to respond quickly and thoroughly. Since 2007, fatal drug overdoses have been the leading cause of accidental death in our state, and this bill will help reduce those numbers.”

"After 25 years as Geagua County prosecutor, I'm a firm advocate for this legislation because everyone will benefit by providing more tools for communities and agencies to combat this heroin epidemic," said Congressman David Joyce.

The legislation is the companion to the Senate’s Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, S. 2839, introduced in September 2014 by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Pat Leahy (D-VT).

The legislation is supported by 93 organizations, including the National District Attorneys Association, the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD), Faces and Voices of Recovery, the National Council for Behavioral Health, and the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, among others.