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Senate passes legislation to fight opioid epidemic

The Senate on Wednesday passed legislation intended to combat the opioid epidemic, in a rare moment of unity...

Posted: Oct 4, 2018 7:03 AM
Updated: Oct 4, 2018 7:03 AM

The Senate on Wednesday passed legislation intended to combat the opioid epidemic, in a rare moment of unity between Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

The legislation was approved by a vote of 98-1 in the Senate and will now head to the White House for President Donald Trump's signature.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell referred to it as "landmark" legislation in remarks on the Senate floor on Wednesday, saying that the bill will bring "relief to American communities that have been decimated by the scourge of substance abuse and addiction."

McConnell said that the package will "deliver critical resources to establish opioid-specific recovery centers," and "will help law enforcement stop the flow of opioids across borders and increase safeguards against over-prescription."

The House overwhelmingly passed its version of the bill last week by a vote of 393-8.

The wide-reaching legislation includes provisions aimed at promoting research to find new drugs for pain management that will not be addictive. It also expands access to treatment for substance use disorders for Medicaid patients.

The opioid crisis has a devastating impact across the United States. In 2016, more than 63,600 people died from an overdose in the United States -- and 42,249 of those deaths involved an opioid, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the Senate health committee and lead sponsor of the legislation, said in a statement on Wednesday that the legislation "represents the work of 8 committees in the House and 5 committees in the Senate who have worked together to reach consensus about how to help address the opioid crisis which is affecting virtually every American community."

Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray called the bill "important" on the Senate floor on Wednesday, but cautioned that it will not be a silver bullet for the problem.

"This is an important bill and it is an impactful step forward," she said. "It is not a final step by any means. The opioid crisis is ongoing and our efforts to address it must be as well."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 61125

Reported Deaths: 1711
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5209106
DeSoto328027
Madison228154
Rankin212428
Harrison209832
Jackson192934
Jones176557
Forrest163153
Washington148032
Lauderdale132388
Lee123230
Neshoba119487
Lamar111512
Oktibbeha105235
Lowndes97332
Warren96426
Scott95317
Bolivar93932
Copiah90924
Panola90711
Sunflower90622
Lafayette8699
Holmes84347
Leflore83259
Pike82632
Grenada81220
Yazoo77311
Leake76725
Lincoln74339
Wayne73221
Pontotoc7247
Simpson71126
Monroe69750
Coahoma65910
Tate64523
Marion59918
Adams58025
Covington57811
Winston57115
Marshall5668
George5415
Union51913
Newton51611
Attala49524
Tallahatchie49310
Pearl River48236
Walthall44218
Chickasaw43519
Noxubee41710
Claiborne40013
Smith37713
Jasper3758
Calhoun3748
Clay36814
Alcorn3544
Prentiss3376
Hancock32614
Tishomingo3163
Yalobusha31610
Lawrence3135
Itawamba30710
Tippah30412
Clarke29825
Montgomery2913
Humphreys26911
Tunica2656
Carroll24511
Greene22611
Kemper22315
Perry2217
Quitman2211
Amite2105
Jefferson Davis1986
Webster19712
Jefferson1916
Wilkinson18712
Sharkey1801
Stone1483
Choctaw1264
Benton1240
Franklin1142
Issaquena211
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 89927

Reported Deaths: 1580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson11650225
Mobile8998191
Montgomery6198143
Madison493225
Tuscaloosa391263
Baldwin317522
Shelby300232
Marshall294730
Unassigned263351
Lee249140
Morgan220615
Etowah191425
DeKalb167713
Elmore158437
Calhoun15359
Walker145763
Houston130912
Dallas128023
Russell12201
Franklin118420
Limestone118313
St. Clair118212
Cullman111311
Colbert107612
Lauderdale105312
Autauga101020
Escambia96515
Talladega89013
Jackson8163
Chambers81438
Tallapoosa80478
Dale77619
Butler75135
Blount7223
Covington70420
Coffee7035
Chilton6976
Pike6547
Barbour5625
Lowndes54624
Marion53524
Marengo51514
Clarke4849
Hale44925
Bullock43711
Perry4284
Winston42811
Wilcox4029
Monroe3884
Randolph38810
Conecuh37110
Bibb3643
Pickens3639
Sumter36118
Washington31011
Macon30813
Lawrence3060
Crenshaw2843
Choctaw27312
Henry2433
Greene24011
Cherokee2337
Geneva2260
Clay2165
Lamar1942
Fayette1695
Cleburne1141
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