08 June 2023- Today, Congressman David Trone (D-MD) reintroduced the Supporting Families Through Addiction Act with Congressman Dan Meuser (R-PA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, alongside Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in the U.S. Senate. The legislation would create a $25 million grant program over five years to help national and local nonprofit organizations provide support services to the families of those undergoing substance use disorder treatment. The bill was passed by the House in the 117th Congress.
With drug overdoses on the rise, we must continue to address the opioid epidemic from every angle. Since 1999, more than one million Americans have died from drug overdoses. With a record 109,000 Americans lost in 2022, Stanford now estimates 1.2 million more Americans will die in this decade alone. Providing more treatment and support services to folks suffering from addiction will save countless lives.
“With more than one million Americans lost to drug overdoses in the last 20 years, we must make investments that support both the families and the individuals struggling with substance use disorder,” said Congressman Trone, co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force. “As we enter a new Congress, I will continue to work across the aisle and fight for common-sense legislation that will support those suffering from addiction and save lives. This fight is personal for me, and I will do everything I can to prevent families from losing a loved one like I did.”
Congressman Trone is all too familiar with the need for more support services for the families of those with substance use disorder. In 2016, Trone lost his nephew Ian to a fentanyl overdose after working closely with Ian for over five years while he was in and out of recovery. After extensive first-hand experience supporting a loved one with addiction, he understands the challenges and barriers on the road to recovery.
“As the addiction crisis continues to hit communities in West Virginia and across the nation, it is clear the devastating impact it is having not only on those struggling with addiction, but their loved ones,” Senator Capito said. “The stigma of addiction all too often leaves individuals and their families feeling isolated, ashamed, and unsure where to turn for reliable information and advice. This bipartisan legislation will hopefully provide family members with the support, resources, and information they need to assist their loved ones struggling with substance use disorders and in recovery, as well as within their family who are also impacted by it.”
“Equipping families with the resources they need to support loved ones battling addiction and substance use disorder is essential for recovery. Unfortunately, getting support can be difficult as people face stigma, a lack of insurance coverage, racial disparities, and an inability to pay for support services,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Supporting Families Through Addiction Act would deliver $25 million in vital funding for financially strained mental health care and substance use disorder support programs and ensure resources are available to families helping people recover from substance use.”
“The plight of addiction continues to affect communities across our country and in Pennsylvania,” said Congressman Meuser. “The Supporting Families through Addiction Act would provide grants to community organizations that offer critical support to families navigating complex insurance coverage and treatment options, allowing them to better assist their loved ones on the road to recovery. I 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 families 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 Supporting Families Through Addiction Act will help close that gap.
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 children – 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, the American Psychological Association, 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.