Trahan’s Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Bills Clear Committee, Advance to House Floor
Washington, May 18, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to advance two bipartisan proposals spearheaded by Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) to help address the addiction crisis and continue key youth mental health programs to the House floor for full consideration.
“Congress has talked about taking action to address the addiction and mental health crises that have ravaged every community across America for too long. Today, those words finally became action by passing commonsense, bipartisan legislation that puts patients and our children first,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “I’m grateful to my colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee for their support of the MATE Act and my bill to reauthorize key youth suicide prevention programs. I look forward to their full consideration on the House floor and fighting for their swift consideration in the Senate.”
The Energy and Commerce Committee adopted Trahan’s Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act, bipartisan legislation to implement a standard for substance use disorder (SUD) training to ensure prescribers of highly addictive medications have baseline knowledge in evidence-based addiction prevention and treatment. Trahan reintroduced the legislation last year with Representatives David Trone (D-MD-06), Buddy Carter (R-GA-01), Annie Kuster (D-NH-02), and David P. McKinley (R-WV-01).
The MATE Act is endorsed by a wide range of medical organizations, addiction treatment groups, and stakeholders, including Dr. James L. Baker, M.D., M.P.H., a pain management expert in Massachusetts who tragically lost his 23-year-old son Max to an opioid overdose.
“The MATE Act will be a powerful step forward in addressing addiction and overdose in America. Congresswoman Trahan's bill would assure that physicians have the knowledge to initiate treatment of persons with substance use disorder,” said Dr. Baker. “My son is gone because he could not find medical help when he needed it, but this bill would save countless others. I thank Rep. Trahan and her supportive colleagues for their courage and compassion.”
The Committee also passed Trahan’s bipartisan legislation to reauthorize key programs previously established under the Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Memorial Act that support community-based youth and young adult suicide prevention efforts. From 2006-2015, a study found that counties exposed to GLS initiatives in a single year had lower youth suicide rates and for a longer period of time in comparison to counties without such programs in place. Another studyfound counties implementing GLS programs had significantly lower suicide rates for youth and young adults following implementation, which was estimated to have averted 79,000 suicide attempts.
Without passage of the bipartisan proposal, these critical programs are currently set to expire at the end of fiscal year 2022. Trahan introduced the legislation earlier this year with Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-05) and Congresswomen Cindy Axne (D-IA-03) and Young Kim (R-CA-39).
Both pieces of legislation now move to the House floor for final consideration in the chamber.