With the nation reeling from an epidemic of drug overdose deaths, President Trump signed legislation Wednesday that is aimed at helping people overcome addiction and preventing addictions before they start.
“Together we are going to end the scourge of drug addiction in America,” Trump said at a White House event celebrating the signing. “We are going to end it or we are going to at least make an extremely big dent in this terrible, terrible problem.”
The opioid legislation was a rarity for this Congress, getting overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers.
The expansive package focuses on improving access to treatment services by lifting certain restrictions on Medicaid and Medicare coverage, as well as backing the creation of comprehensive opioid recovery centers.
It attempts to address over prescription of opioids and authorizes government research into non-addictive drugs that could be used for pain management.
There are also measures that seek to curtail foreign shipments of illegal drugs to the United States.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, spoke to NPR ahead of the bill signing. He was a leading proponent of the legislation in the Senate.