U.S. Reps. David Trone (D-MD) and Tim Burchett (R-TN) introduced bipartisan legislation Thursday to improve the national response to the U.S. addiction epidemic.
The legislation, entitled Effective Drug Control, would direct the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to track and review all federally funded drug demand reduction activities, which would help the federal government to prioritize those drug control strategies that work the best.
“The astronomical spikes in overdose deaths over the past year show that we have no time to waste in the fight against addiction,” Trone said. “This bill is exactly what we need to better coordinate our efforts, better spend taxpayer dollars, and save lives from this horrible disease. I’d like to thank Congressman Burchett for working with me on this much-needed bipartisan legislation.”
The proposed legislation follows reports of record numbers of drug overdose deaths across the country, the congressmen said. Between June 2019 and May 2020, there were a record 81,000 overdose deaths nationwide. In Maryland, overdose deaths increased by 111 percent during the pandemic, Trone’s office said.
“Congress must ensure federal efforts to control the ongoing opioid epidemic are hitting the mark,” Burchett said. “This is important legislation that boosts transparency and accountability within taxpayer-funded initiatives, so the public knows these programs are effectively addressing this crisis. Solving the ongoing opioid epidemic is a cause we can all get behind, as evidenced by the bipartisan group of members introducing this bill, and I am proud to once again be a part of this effort.”