News Releases

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Isakson Votes to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act now heads to president's desk

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today voted in favor of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S.524), which will help Americans combat the epidemic of heroin and prescription painkiller abuse across the country.

“The abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers has shattered lives and families in Georgia and around the United States,” said Isakson. “Sadly, only 10 percent of those who need treatment to fight opioid addiction are getting it. Today, under Republican leadership, the Senate addressed this problem by voting to support programs and policies across the federal government to combat opioid addiction and get help to those who need it. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I’m also proud that the final bill included a number of provisions to specifically help veterans addicted to opioids. I encourage the president to sign this important bill into law as soon as possible.”

Specifically, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act:

  • Directs the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to implement opioid and heroin abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts.
  • Requires the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a task force on pain management.
  • Requires the Food and Drug Administration to consult with advisory committees prior to approval or labeling of certain new pediatric opioids, issue final guidance for generic drugs, and develop recommendations regarding education programs for opioid prescribers.
  • Includes the Jason Simcakoski Memorial and Promise Act, legislation that was also included in Senator Isakson’s Veterans First Act to help the Department of Veterans Affairs combat opioid addiction among veterans.