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Reps. Stivers, Engel Introduce Evidence-Based Treatment Legislation to Combat Opioid Epidemic

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Washington, March 14, 2018 | comments
Today, Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) introduced the Reinforcing Evidence-Based Standards Under Law in Treating Substance Abuse (RESULTS) Act. This bipartisan legislation would ensure that federal grants intended to treat mental health and substance use disorders fund initiatives that are backed by sound evidence, or will help build the evidence base for innovative therapies.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) introduced the Reinforcing Evidence-Based Standards Under Law in Treating Substance Abuse (RESULTS) Act. This bipartisan legislation would ensure that federal grants intended to treat mental health and substance use disorders fund initiatives that are backed by sound evidence, or will help build the evidence base for innovative therapies.

“With drug overdoses taking the lives of over 4,000 Ohioans in 2016 alone, the drug epidemic is truly taking its toll on our communities,” Stivers said. “We need to combat the opioid epidemic holistically, and ensuring people receive effective treatment is an important aspect. This bipartisan legislation is a first step to ensure we are funding programs that are proven to help people struggling with drug addiction, while also encouraging new and innovative treatments.”

“The opioid epidemic has affected Ohio, New York and every corner of our nation,” Engel said. “We must ensure that federal treatment dollars are going to programs that work, while also supporting new and innovative therapies that could be game-changers. That’s what this bill does: it guarantees that science and evidence are at the forefront when it comes to treating mental health and substance use disorders.”

Specifically, under this legislation, applicants for federal grants through the Department of Health and Human Services for mental health and substance abuse programs will be required to demonstrate that their program or treatment has been proven to work. In order to promote the use of innovative treatments and programs that show promise but lack established evidence, this bill provides a waiver mechanism to fund these programs if they will help build the body of knowledge on emergent therapies. The RESULTS Act also highlights the need to establish a wider body of evidence for programs tailored to the needs of specific populations, like Native Americans.

This bill will also require that materials submitted by an applicant be made publicly available, giving local providers additional resources on programs that may help their communities, while providing transparency and accountability to funding decisions.

To read the full text of the bill, click here.

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