New coalition will press for legislation to battle opioid epidemic

A new coalition made up of national physician organizations and other groups, says it will press Congress to adopt comprehensive policies to combat the country's opioid epidemic.

The group, called the Coalition to Stop Opioid Overdose, brings together national and state organizations to advance legislation to help reverse the opioid crisis, according to a coalition announcement.

More than 10 million Americans report misusing opioids and while initial steps have been taken on the national and state level to combat the epidemic, "there remains an urgent need for simple and achievable prevention, treatment and recovery policies that can reduce opioid overdose," according to R. Corey Waller, M.D., chair of the American Society of Addiction Medicine's Legislative Advocacy Committee.  

"Now is the time for us to come together as a unified group to ensure that Congress sends meaningful legislation to the President's desk this year," he said. 

The coalition, which includes the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, the American College of Emergency Physicians and several other groups, will focus on five key goals:

  • Improve access to medication-assisted treatment for those with opioid addiction
  • Expand availability of naloxone, which can reverse opioid overdose, in healthcare settings
  • Implement programs to enhance prescription drug monitoring programs that track the dispensing and prescribing of controlled substances
  • Raise the level of opioid prescriber education
  • Enact the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

To learn more:
- read the announcement