Action Alerts

Cosponsors Needed for House and Senate Bills Dealing with the Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic is taking a toll on individuals, families and communities across the nation.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids killed more than 33,000 people in 2015.  Additionally, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates 3.3 million Americans aged 12 or over misused prescription pain relievers in 2016.  Although Congress has increased funding for prevention, treatment and recovery in recent years, a stable, long-term investment is needed to help the hardest hit communities stem the rising tide of this epidemic.

In the Senate, NACNS has endorsed S. 2004, Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act, introduced by Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.).  On the House side, Representatives Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) introduced H.R. 3692, the Addiction Treatment Access Improvement Act, which NACNS also supports.  The latter bill builds on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act in order to allow clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, and certified registered nurse anesthetists to practice to the full extent of their training and education in prescribing buprenorphine.

Both bills need additional cosponsors in order to move forward in their respective chambers. We need your help now! Please contact your Senators and ask them to cosponsor S. 2004 and your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 3692.

How to Contact your Members of Congress via Telephone or Email

  • Senators – Get contact information for your Senators.
  • Representatives – Find the website and contact information for your Representative.

Talking Points for S. 2004, Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act

  • Identify yourself as a constituent and as a CNS.
  • The opioid epidemic is taking a toll on individuals, families and communities across the nation, and action on this crisis is needed.
  • Provide examples of how the opioid crisis has affected your community and the institution where you work.
  • In order to address the problem effectively, we must continue to commit resources to our states and our local communities.
  • S. 2004, Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act, would invest $45 billion for prevention, detection, surveillance and treatment of opioids. This is the same number proposed by Senate Republicans earlier this summer.
  • This legislation incorporates bipartisan, commonsense principles to make sure we are providing assistance where it is most needed.
  • Request that your Senators cosponsor S. 2004 and thank them for their consideration.

Talking Points for H.R. 3692, Addiction Treatment Access Improvement Act

  • Identify yourself as a constituent and as a CNS.
  • Opioid use and dependence are growing public health threats, despite the many actions put in place to try to curb this crisis.
  • Provide examples of how the opioid crisis has affected your community and the institution where you work.
  • APRNs are critical agents in treating patients that experience these crises, and are sometimes the sole providers of this care in regions that struggle to recruit and retain providers.
  • R. 3692, Addiction Treatment Access Improvement Act of 2017, builds on steps taken under the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act to enable clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, and certified registered nurse anesthetists to prescribe buprenorphine.
  • These advanced practice-nursing professionals have similar educational and training requirements as other currently eligible providers and often serve as primary care providers for vulnerable populations.
  • Broadening the Controlled Substances Act to include APRNs will greatly expand access to patients suffering from opioid addictions.
  • Request that your Representative cosponsor H.R. 3692 and thank him/her for his/her consideration.