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Stop the Overdose Problem Already Becoming a Universal Substance Epidemic Act of 2015 or the “STOP ABUSE Act of 2015”

Introduced on 10-8-15 by Frank Guinta [R-NH-1] and referred to the Judiciary and Energy and Commerce Committees, then the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. Cosponsored by Ann Kuster [D-NH-2], March Kaptur [D-OH-9], Bruce Poliquin [R-ME-2], Elise Stefanic [R-NY-21], Rodney Davis [R-IL-13], Rick Larsen [D-WA-2], John Carney [D-DE-At Large], Vern Buchanan [R-FL-16]. A related Bill is H.R.1725.

Purpose: To provide for the comprehensive approach to eradication of the heroin epidemic, to develop the best practices in law enforcement and prescription medication prescribing practices, and for other purposes.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Prevention and intervention are the best investment. Per a study in New Hampshire, the use of heroin has doubled since 2004. Prescription opioid use has increased 500%. Overdose is the number one cause of injury-related death in the United States.

SEC. 3. Development of best practices.

(a) Interagency Task Force to convene to address opioid abuse comprised of two representatives of each the Departments HHS, VA, DoD, DEA, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the National Academy of Medicine, NIH, the Indian Health Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and include practitioners, pharmacists, experts in pain and addiction research, the mental health treatment community, the addiction treatment community, and pain advocacy groups.

(a) Forms an Inter-Agency task force comprised of representatives of DHHS, VA, DoD, DEA, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Institute of Medicine, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, practitioners, pharmacists; experts in pain and addiction research, pain management professional organizations, the mental health treatment community, the addiction treatment community, pain advocacy groups, a person in recovery from addiction to medication for chronic pain, a person with chronic pain; and other stakeholders.

(b) Duties:

(1) develop best practices for pain management and prescribing, taking into consideration existing pain management research, recommendations from relevant conferences; ongoing efforts to develop improved pain management strategies, public comment

(2) develop a strategy for disseminating information about the best practices developed to prescribers, pharmacists, State medical boards, educational institutions and other parties

(3) conduct a study on the feasibility of implementing the best practices.

The task force shall not have rulemaking authority. It shall submit a report to Congress.

SEC. 4. Community-based coalition enhancement grants to address local drug crises.

Allows for grants in areas where there is a drug crisis to implement comprehensive, community-wide prevention strategies to address the crisis. Grants are for $75,000 for 4 years. $5,000,000 is authorized to be appropriated for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2020.

SEC. 5. Limitations on civil liability for certain individuals working at opioid overdose programs.

Limitation on civil liability for individuals working for or volunteering at a State or local agency opioid overdose program and for individuals who administer opioid overdose drugs unless harm is caused by gross negligence or reckless misconduct of the individual who provides the drug.

This limitation on civil liability does not apply in State courts however, if all parties are citizens of the same state and the State has enacted legislation citing this paragraph.

 SEC. 6. Operation of opioid treatment programs.

Requires an opioid treatment program to arrange for patients to receive a dose of that substance under appropriate supervision during the closure when they cannot use a take-home dose. Not doing so becomes a criminal act per Section 303 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 823).

SEC. 7. Treatment alternative to incarceration programs.

Amends Part LL of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to make grants to develop, implement, or expand a treatment alternative to incarceration programs for eligible participants—i.e. those with substance use disorder or mental illness—to

(1) use receiving centers as alternatives to incarceration;

(2) use specialized response units for calls related to substance use disorders or mental illness;

(3) other arrest and pre-booking treatment alternatives to incarceration; and

(4) programs for use after the filing of criminal charges against an individual, which shall include specialized clinical case management, pre-trial services, prosecutor and defense-based programs, specialized probation, programs utilizing the American Society of Addition Medicine patient placement criteria, treatment and rehabilitation programs and recovery support services, and drug courts, DWI courts, and veterans treatment courts.

“(5) submit periodic reports on the progress of treatment or other measured outcomes from participation in the program of each eligible offender participating in the program to the relevant State, tribal, or local criminal justice agency, consistent with Federal and State confidentiality requirements.

Authorization of Appropriations.—$10,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2016 through 2020.

SEC. 8. Reauthorization of the high intensity drug trafficking area under the office of national drug control policy.

Authorization of appropriations.—$280,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2020.

SEC. 9. Reauthorization of the controlled substance monitoring program.

Amends Paragraph (1) of section 2 of the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act of 2005 (Public Law 109–60) to:

(1) foster the establishment of State-administered controlled substance monitoring systems in order to ensure that—

  1. A) health care providers have access to the accurate, timely prescription history information for the early identification of patients at risk for addiction in order to initiate appropriate medical interventions

(B) appropriate law enforcement, regulatory, and State professional licensing authorities have access to prescription history information for the purposes of investigating drug diversion and prescribing and dispensing practices of errant prescribers or pharmacists;

(2) Authorization of appropriations.—$10,000,000 for each of fiscal years from 2016 through 2020 offset by a corresponding reduction in Federal discretionary spending.


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