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NIDA

Congressional Affairs, May 2017

Prepared April 28, 2017

Hearings, Briefings, Meetings

  • 2/14 – Congressional Subcommittee staff briefing on fentanyl and related issues – Dr. Volkow visited with and briefed staff from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.  They invited her to brief them on fentanyl issues, thinking ahead to a hearing they were planning.
  • 2/28 – Heroin Task Force roundtable – In honor of CARA (Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act) Family Day, the Task Force held a roundtable discussion focusing on the needs and experiences of families who have lost loved ones to overdose.  Geoffrey Laredo attended for NIDA.
  • 3/9 – Congressman Jenkins meeting – Representative Evan Jenkins (R-WV) invited Dr. Volkow and others to meet with him and some doctors/researchers from his district to discuss neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and related issues.  They presented relevant data from their work in Huntington, WV, and there was a robust discussion about various approaches to working with newborns suffering from NAS.
  • 3/21 – Hearing on fentanyl/opioids – Dr. Compton testified on behalf of NIDA at a hearing entitled Fentanyl: The Next Wave of the Opioid Crisis. The hearing was convened by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.  You can read his testimony and watch the hearing at https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2017/research-use-misuse-fentanyl-other-synthetic-opioids.
  • 4/3 – Senator Capito meeting – As part of a broader NIH tour, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (accompanied by NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and NIH Deputy Director Dr. Larry Tabak) met with Dr. Volkow to discuss opioids research issues.  West Virginia has been particularly hard hit by this crisis.
  • 4/4 – Congressional Briefing focused on opioids – The Senate NIH Caucus, supported by Act4NIH, sponsored a very well-attended briefing focused on opioid addiction and how research offers hope for progress.  Dr. Volkow headlined the event, and was joined by Dr. Kathleen Brady (Medical University of South Carolina) and Dr. Michael Dennis (Chestnut Health Systems).
  • 4/4 – GOP Doctors Caucus – Dr. Volkow had the opportunity to sit with 12 members of this caucus to discuss a full range of marijuana issues.  The “no agenda” meeting gave attendees to participate in a free-flowing discussion, and it was an outstanding venue for Dr. Volkow to speak directly with several members of Congress.
  • 4/6 – Congressional Briefing focused on opioids – The American Psychiatric Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine sponsored (another) Capitol Hill briefing focused on opioids. Dr. Volkow spoke at this event, which also included presentations from other researchers as well as treatment and recovery advocates.
  • 4/17-20 – National Rx/Heroin Summit – As part of Dr. Volkow’s participation in this year’s Summit, she had an opportunity to meet and discuss issues with Senator Ed Markey (D-MA); Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY); Representative Buddy Carter (R-GA); and Representative Patrick Meehan (R-PA).  This was a very large and broad event.  For further information, go to https://vendome.swoogo.com/2017-rx-summit/.

Legislation of Interest

Opioids

  • H.R.664 – STOP OD (Stem the Tide of Overdose Prevalence from Opiate Drugs) Act of 2017
  • H.R.992 – Expanding Opportunities for Recovery Act of 2017
  • H.R.993 – Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2017
  • H.R.994 – Examining Opioid Treatment Infrastructure Act of 2017
  • H.R.1554 and S.581 – Jessie’s Law
  • H.R.1781 – Comprehensive Fentanyl Control Act
  • H.R.1854 and S.778 -- Prescription Drug Monitoring Act of 2017
  • H.R.2025 – Abuse-Deterrent Opioids Plan for Tomorrow Act of 2017
  • H.R.2038 and S.523 – Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment Act
  • H.R.2063 – Opioid Preventing Abuse Through Continuing Education (PACE) Act of 2017
  • S.786 – Student and Student Athlete Opioid Misuse Prevention Act
  • S.892 – Opioid Addiction Prevention Act of 2017

Marijuana

  • H.R.331 States’ Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act
  • H.R.714 – Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marihuana Act
  • H.R.715 – Compassionate Access Act
  • H.R.975 – Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017
  • H.R.1227 – Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017
  • H.R.1820 – Veterans Equal Access Act
  • H.R.1823 – Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act
  • H.R.1824 – Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act of 2017
  • H.R.1841 – Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act
  • H.R.2020 – To provide for the rescheduling of marijuana into schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act
  • S.776 – Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act
  • S.777 – Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2017
  • S.780 – Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act of 2017

Synthetics

  • H.R.449 – Synthetic Drug Awareness Act of 2017
  • H.R.1732 – Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2017
  • H.R.2142 – To improve the ability of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to interdict fentanyl, other synthetic opioids, and other narcotics and psychoactive substances that are illegally imported into the United States.
  • S.207 – Synthetic Abuse and Labeling of Toxic Substances (SALTS) Act of 2017
  • S.708 – International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act