December 20, 2016

Kaine Tours Opioid Abuse Treatment Center In Newport News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, who will join the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) next year, visited an opioid/methadone treatment facility in Newport News to discuss how recent legislation will help address the opioid epidemic hitting Virginia, which claimed more lives in the state in 2014 than vehicle crashes and has been declared a public health emergency. Kaine toured the facility, which is a residential and day treatment program for recent mothers and pregnant women dealing with substance use disorders. 

“The opioid addiction problem is a public health emergency in Virginia,” Kaine said. “As a member of the HELP Committee next year, with increased ability to work closely on legislation that will address this epidemic, I wanted to come to this facility today to see a unique addiction treatment program for pregnant and expecting mothers. So much of the success of this facility is about the coordination of care and being able to offer comprehensive services to mothers who come here looking for help. That is a key piece of the strategy to address this crisis that I will take back with me to Congress.”

This month, Congress passed the 21st Century CURES Act with strong bipartisan support to fund critical biomedical research, including the Cancer Moonshot Initiative and research on the opioid abuse crisis. This July, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) that included several measures to curb opioid abuse authored by Kaine, became law. The bill expanded the availability of Naloxone to first responders and law enforcement. The overdose antidote has reversed more than 26,000 overdose cases between 1996 and 2014. CARA will also support additional resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals struggling with substance use disorders, expand drug take-back efforts to promote safe disposal of unused or unwanted prescriptions, and launch prescription opioid and heroin treatment and intervention programs.