Addressing the Opioid Crisis
The opioid epidemic is a public health crisis that has devastated too many families in the Third District and beyond-- and it has only been made worse by the Coronavirus pandemic. Congress has an obligation to act with federal funding and multi-pronged legislative solutions to end the crisis that has taken far too many lives. This continues to be a top priority of Congresswoman Trahan as she consistently advocates for mental health and substance use disorder resources.
Congresswoman Trahan with moms from MA03 who have lost a child to opioid addiction.
Our nation too often views addiction as a moral failing rather than a disease. This stigma persists even within the medical community, preventing far too many Americans from accessing evidence-based care for a chronic, treatable disease. Congresswoman Trahan’s MATE Act implements a standard for substance use disorder training that requires prescribers of highly-addictive medications to have baseline knowledge in evidence-based addiction prevention and treatment. Congresswoman Trahan first introduced the MATE Act in 2019 and continued to push for this training until the legislation passed the House in June of 2022. The MATE Act both prevents addiction and ensures those suffering from addiction have prescribers trained in evidence-based addiction prevention and treatment methods.
Congresswoman Trahan with her 2020 SOTU guest, Cheryl Juarie.
Drug overdose deaths have reached record highs during the pandemic. Congresswoman Trahan led a bipartisan group of 21 of her colleagues in pushing the federal government to recognize and support Overdose Awareness Day: a day held in remembrance of the lives lost to overdoses. Thanks to their advocacy, President Biden proclaimed the last Sunday of August to begin Overdose Awareness Week in both 2021 and 2022.
Supporting Local Efforts to End the Epidemic
Organizations across the Commonwealth work tirelessly to provide direct support to those suffering with substance use disorder in our communities. From the Bridge Club of Greater Lowell to UMass Chan Medical School, Congresswoman Trahan is proud to support these local efforts to finally end this devastating epidemic.
Joining with Colleagues in Washington
The opioid epidemic touches every district across our country. Over the past year, Congresswoman Trahan joined with colleagues on the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force to identify and advance meaningful solutions and enact policies to address the substance use disorder crisis, improve access to mental health care, and reduce overdose deaths.
Federal Response to COVID-19
On March 27, 2020 Congresswoman Trahan voted in support of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act, a historic package that provided comprehensive aid to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus. Among its provisions, the CARES Act included $425 million in funding to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which has enabled greater access to mental health services through Community Behavioral Health Clinics and suicide prevention programs, and has targeted emergency response spending where it is needed most.
Additionally, Congresswoman Trahan voted in support of the American Rescue Plan Act which became law in March of 2021. This legislation divided $3.88 billion between the SAMHSA, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a variety of mental health services, such as suicide prevention programs, substance abuse prevention, and treatment, and supporting community health clinics.
Congresswoman Trahan speaking at a meeting for the Freshmen Working Group on Addiction.