EXAMINING OPIOID TREATMENT INFRASTRUCTURE ACT OF 2016; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 74
(House of Representatives - May 11, 2016)

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[Pages H2275-H2276]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




         EXAMINING OPIOID TREATMENT INFRASTRUCTURE ACT OF 2016

  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 4982) to direct the Comptroller General of the United States 
to evaluate and report on the in-patient and outpatient treatment 
capacity, availability, and needs of the United States, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 4982

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Examining Opioid Treatment 
     Infrastructure Act of 2016''.

     SEC. 2. STUDY ON TREATMENT INFRASTRUCTURE.

       Not later than 24 months after the date of enactment of 
     this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall 
     initiate an evaluation, and submit to Congress a report, of 
     the inpatient and outpatient treatment capacity, 
     availability, and needs of the United States, which shall 
     include, to the extent data are available--
       (1) the capacity of acute residential or inpatient 
     detoxification programs;
       (2) the capacity of inpatient clinical stabilization 
     programs, transitional residential support services, and 
     residential rehabilitation programs;
       (3) the capacity of demographic specific residential or 
     inpatient treatment programs, such as those designed for 
     pregnant women or adolescents;
       (4) geographical differences of the availability of 
     residential and outpatient treatment and recovery options for 
     substance use disorders across the continuum of care;
       (5) the availability of residential and outpatient 
     treatment programs that offer treatment options based on 
     reliable scientific evidence of efficacy for the treatment of 
     substance use disorders, including the use of Food and Drug 
     Administration-approved medicines and evidence-based 
     nonpharmacological therapies;
       (6) the number of patients in residential and specialty 
     outpatient treatment services for substance use disorders;
       (7) an assessment of the need for residential and 
     outpatient treatment for substance use disorders across the 
     continuum of care;
       (8) the availability of residential and outpatient 
     treatment programs to American Indians and Alaska Natives 
     through an Indian health program (as defined by section 4 of 
     the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (25 U.S.C. 1603)); and
       (9) the barriers (including technological barriers) at the 
     Federal, State, and local levels to real-time reporting of 
     de-identified information on drug overdoses and ways to 
     overcome such barriers.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Kentucky (Mr. Guthrie) and the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Gene Green) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kentucky.


                             General Leave

  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and 
insert extraneous materials in the Record on the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Kentucky?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 4982, Examining Opioid 
Treatment Infrastructure Act of 2016, introduced by my colleagues, the 
ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Mr. Pallone of New 
Jersey, and Mr. Foster of Illinois.
  H.R. 4982 directs the Government Accountability Office to evaluate 
and report on the inpatient and outpatient treatment capacity, 
availability, and needs of the United States. It is important to have 
the data necessary to assess the opioid infrastructure in our country.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this bill.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I rise in support of H.R. 4982, Examining Opioid Treatment 
Infrastructure Act.
  Opioid use disorder is a chronic disease that can be effectively 
treated, but it requires ongoing management. As the current epidemic 
has drawn sharply into focus, significantly more resources are needed 
to ensure availability of and access to evidence-based treatment.
  A public health-based approach to drug abuse and addiction requires 
having broad-based treatment services available for those with opioid 
use disorders, including both behavioral therapies and proven 
medication-assisted treatment and insurance coverage for such 
treatment.
  Medication-assisted treatment is often in combination with behavioral 
treatment, which has been shown to be highly effective in the treatment 
of opioid addiction.
  However, many patients in need of treatment face significant 
barriers. Physicians cite barriers finding and placing patients in 
addiction treatment and recovery programs.
  Current capacity of treatment and recovery programs is inadequate to 
meet the population's needs. There are too few physicians and programs 
offering treatment and recovery services.
  In order to address these shortages, better information and data is 
needed for our existing opioid treatment infrastructure. H.R. 4982, the 
Examining Opioid Treatment Infrastructure Act, will direct the GAO to 
conduct a study on the inpatient and outpatient treatment capacity of 
the United States.
  It instructs the agency to examine the capacity of acute residential 
or inpatient detoxification programs, inpatient clinical stabilization 
programs, transitional residential support services, and residential 
rehabilitation programs.
  The GAO is directed to report on geographic differences in the 
availability of treatment and recovery programs for substance abuse 
disorders; the availability of programs that offer evidence-based 
treatment options, including the use of FDA-approved medications; and 
the number of patients' different treatment settings.
  Finally, the agency would include an assessment of the need for 
residential and outpatient treatment for substance use disorders across 
the continuum of care.
  We must face this crisis head-on and address the serious gaps in 
evidence-based treatment. The Examining Opioid Treatment Infrastructure 
Act will help us do this.
  I want to thank the bill's sponsor, Representative Bill Foster, for 
introducing this legislation.
  I urge my colleagues to support the act.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Carter), my friend.
  Mr. CARTER of Georgia. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 4599 because treatment 
of addiction to opioid painkillers and heroin

[[Page H2276]]

is vital in fighting the U.S. drug abuse epidemic.
  H.R. 4982 requires the Government Accountability Office to report on 
inpatient and outpatient treatment capacities, detoxification programs, 
rehabilitation programs, and treatment programs for pregnant women and 
adolescents.
  Inpatient and outpatient treatment centers are usually one of the 
biggest obstacles communities face when trying to help people who are 
fighting addiction. Unfortunately, for most communities, local 
treatment facilities are few and far between and many of them are full.
  As a lifelong healthcare professional, I believe the only way we will 
be able to adequately fight this opioid abuse epidemic is if we work 
together.

                              {time}  1830

  We need to adequately understand the treatment services that are 
available to people with addiction across the country so we can use 
these tools to their fullest extent. That is why I am supporting H.R. 
4982. By understanding all the tools the community can use, we can 
begin to fight this epidemic.
  I encourage my colleagues to support this bill so we can begin to 
leverage our resources to help our communities fight opioid abuse.
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Foster), a cosponsor of the bill.
  Mr. FOSTER. Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Green for yielding me the time.
  My bill, H.R. 4982, the Examining Opioid Treatment Infrastructure Act 
of 2016, is straightforward, and it is bipartisan.
  If we are ever going to get a handle on the heroin and opioid 
epidemic tearing through our communities, we have to know what we are 
dealing with. We need data, and we need to know what capacity we have 
in place and what capacity we need to treat this epidemic so that we 
can make smart and adequate investments, which is why we need this 
bill.
  This important bill directs a study of the inpatient and outpatient 
addiction treatment capacity and availability throughout the U.S., as 
well as an assessment of the needed types and numbers of treatment 
options.
  It seems simple, but there is no better place to start than at the 
beginning, with an understanding of the addiction treatment 
infrastructure that we have versus the need for that infrastructure.
  When I was first elected to Congress, I was not prepared to hear the 
stories from family members who had lost a loved one due to substance 
abuse. My office often gets calls from parents wanting to share their 
stories of the children they have lost to addiction.
  While opioid addiction may start in many ways, it ends with a 
scientifically understood, increasingly treatable medical condition in 
which the biochemical pathways necessary to normal decisionmaking in 
the brain have been hijacked, and the chemistry of the brain 
permanently altered.
  The more we learn about the science of addiction, the more convinced 
we become that the best path forward is treating addiction like the 
medical, biochemical condition that it is. To do this successfully, we 
need the correct number and types of addiction treatment facilities.
  That is why I introduced the Examining Opioid Treatment 
Infrastructure Act of 2016, with my friend from New Jersey (Mr. 
Pallone).
  We know that opioid use and abuse has become an epidemic, and now 
let's make sure that we know the real numbers we are dealing with so we 
can allocate the necessary resources.
  I urge support of the Examining Opioid Treatment Infrastructure Act 
of 2016.
  Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, having no further speakers, I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I encourage my colleagues to vote for H.R. 
4982.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Guthrie) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 4982, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

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