Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) made the following statement regarding passage of H.R. 6, the Support for Patients and Communities Act, by the Senate:
“I was pleased to vote in favor of the Support for Patients and Communities Act, which takes several important steps toward helping those addicted to opioids by increasing resources to better identify and treat those suffering from addiction, and bolstering enforcement efforts.
“Opioid abuse continues to be a serious public health crisis affecting this country. Communities have been devastated, as more than 115 people die daily from an opioid overdose in the United States. In Arizona, opioid-related deaths have skyrocketed, nearly tripling from 2013-2016.
“This legislation includes a key provision to help stop illegal drugs, including fentanyl, at the border. It’s no secret that the bulk of the fentanyl supply in the United States enters through our mail system. This bill will help interagency enforcement efforts to identify and report suspicious mail by requiring senders of packages from abroad to supply the U.S. Postal Service with advance notification so that government agencies can track and detect suspicious activity prior to entering the United States. The bill also expands and fast tracks research into non-addictive painkillers, streamlines recovery efforts for Medicaid recipients, and cracks down on ‘doctor-shopping’ by improving state prescription drug monitoring programs.
“We have a long way to go to end the scourge of drugs across our communities, but this legislation is an important step in the right direction.”