WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, on Monday applauded the passage of the bipartisan Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018. The bill includes dozens of new policies and grant programs to combat the nation’s opioid crisis, like closing loopholes to stop the flow of illegal drugs from crossing the border, improving care and support for substance-exposed babies and their mothers, funding research grants to discover new non-addictive painkillers, and expanding an existing program to train more first responders to carry and use Narcan, a medication used to treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency situation. Murphy’s bipartisan Recovery COACH Act, which he co-authored with U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), was included in the bill. 

“People in Connecticut know this tidal wave addiction is only getting worse. I’m proud that the Senate included my bill to follow Connecticut’s lead and utilize recovery coaches to help people overcome addiction,” said Murphy. “This crisis is tearing families apart. Republicans in Congress are not taking this crisis seriously enough, but the Opioid Crisis Response Act is a small step forward and I was happy to play a role in its passage” 

Inspired by Connecticut, the Recovery COACH Act will provide states with grants to ensure that individuals with substance use disorder have access to specifically trained coaches who can serve as a mentor, provide insight and encouragement, support for families, and help patients navigate treatment options.  The legislation passed the U.S. Senate by a vote of 99-1 and will now be sent to the U.S. House of Representatives.