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October 03, 2020

New legislation aimed at helping families affected by addiction passes unanimously through House

Credit: WDVM, Katie Rhee

WASHINGTON (WDVM) — A new legislation aimed to help the families of people struggling with addiction has just passed unanimously through the House and is now headed to the Senate.

The bipartisan Family Support Services for Addiction Act was created by Congressmen Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania and David Trone of Maryland.

The legislation would create a $25 million dollar grant program over 5 years that would provide national and local nonprofits resources to help families affected by addiction.

The funding would provide resources such as family support services include caregiver peer support, education, and training, as well as systems navigation for families trying to access treatment. Other resources include counseling services, skill-building, and support groups for those in crisis and for those who have lost loved ones.

“What it’s all about is, folks that are in addiction, they’ve got all kinds of folks around them, their moms, their dads, their brothers, their sisters, their wives, and friends that want to help, but they don’t quite know what to help with, where to go. So this bill puts grants out for agencies around the country that are there to help those in the families of the person that’s addicted.”

Trone stated that his personal experience of losing his nephew, Ian, who overdosed on Fentanyl in 2016

Trone is stated that the lack of legislation to help people struggling with addiction is what led him to run for Congress. He stated that like other families who are affected by addiction, he struggled to find resources before and after the passing of his nephew.

Congressman Trone will be working with West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito to get the legislation passed through the Senate. He is confident that the legislation will pass through the Senate and hopes that the bipartisan and bicameral legislation will reach the President’s desk before the election in November.

Trone is also the founder of the Freshmen Working Group on Addiction which is a bipartisan task force working to end the addiction crisis in America. It has a total of 63 members from 31 states and was established to further investigate and ultimately end one of the most devastating crises that the United States is facing.