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October 01, 2020

House Unanimously Passes Trone, Meuser Legislation to Support Families with Loved Ones Struggling with Addiction



House Unanimously Passes Trone, Meuser Legislation to Support Families with Loved Ones Struggling with Addiction

Trone law now heads to the Senate for passage

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Congressmen David Trone (D-Md.) and Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) applauded the unanimous House passage of their bipartisan bill, H.R. 5572, the Family Support Services for Addiction Act. The legislation would create a $25 million grant program over five years to help national and local nonprofit organizations provide services for families impacted by addiction. The bill must be passed by the Senate before heading to the President’s desk.

The legislation passes the House as new reports show that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated America’s addiction crisis. A CDC report from June found that amid the coronavirus crisis, U.S. adults reported “considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions,” and that 13% of Americans had started or increased their substance use.

In addition, newly-released data from the Maryland Department of Health’s Opioid Operational Command Center shows significant increases in overdose deaths in Maryland during the second quarter of 2020.

“Families often shoulder the burden of making insurance claims, identifying treatment options, and exploring how they can best help their loved ones recover. It’s about time that we recognize the crucial role they play in the recovery journey,” said Congressman David Trone. “I am thrilled to see this legislation pass on the House floor with such strong bipartisan support, and I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to get this bill to the President’s desk.”

“Addiction is an epidemic that affects each of our communities,” said Congressman Meuser. “The Family Support Services for Addiction Act would deliver important federal aid to community organizations that help families navigate insurance coverage, explore treatment options and understand how best to assist their loved one on the road to recovery. I want to thank Congressman Trone for his exceptional work on this legislation and look forward to the day when it is signed into law.”

Organizations around the country help millions of family members affected by substance use disorder every day. These groups offer services to families that are often not provided by treatment facilities nor covered by insurance. However, most of these organizations receive little to no government support. The Family Support Services for Addiction Act will help close that gap.

Administered through the Department of Health and Human Services, the Family Support Services for Addiction Act would provide national and local community programs that offer family support services $25 million in grants over five years. Family support services include caregiver peer support, education and training, systems navigation for families trying to access treatment and other resources, counseling services, support groups for those in crisis and for those who have lost loved ones, and skill-building.

Evidence has shown that when families are involved in their loved one’s treatment and recovery, outcomes improve. Those with family members engaged in programs and services such as Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) – an evidence-based model that teaches families the skills to have productive and effective conversations and interactions with their child – show a higher treatment retention rate.

The Family Support Services for Addiction Act has been endorsed by the Partnership to End Addiction (formerly Center on Addiction + Partnership for Drug-Free Kids), the Kennedy Forum, Faces & Voices of Recovery, Addiction Policy Forum, Attack Addiction (Delaware), Not One More (Alabama), Parents Helping Parents (Oklahoma), Hope Sheds Light (New Jersey), Not One More (Pennsylvania), and Drug Free Workplace PA and Family Education (Pennsylvania).

To read bill text, click here.

To read a bill summary, click here.

To watch Congressman Trone’s floor speech about H.R. 5572, click here.