Tennessee Gets Federal Boost to Fight Opioid Epidemic

Bill headed to president’s desk that will help Tennessee’s fight to turn around opioid epidemic that kills more Tennesseans than car accidents or gunshots

Posted on July 14, 2016

WASHINGTON, July 14 – United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today urged the President to sign the bipartisan conference committee report to reform opioid programs sponsored by Senators Portman (R-Ohio), Ayotte (R-N.H.), Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Klobuchar (D-Minn.) which passed the United States Senate yesterday. Speaker Ryan signed the conference committee report in a ceremony this morning.

“Each year, more than 1,000 Tennesseans die from opioid abuse or overdose—this is an epidemic taking more Tennessee lives than car accidents or gunshots do. The way to fight this epidemic is not to wage a distant battle from Washington but for Washington to support those who are fighting on the front lines. That battle is being fought state by state, county by county, doctor’s office by doctor’s office,” said Senator Alexander. “This legislation should provide a substantial boost in this ongoing battle. Today is a landmark victory for those Tennesseans who are on the front lines. I’m urging the President to sign this bill without delay.

Alexander was one of seven Senate conferees who worked with the House conferees on the legislation passed by the Senate yesterday. He has also noted on the Senate floor that Senate has also boosted opioid funding 542% over the past three years.

The legislation sponsored by Senators Portman, Ayotte, Whitehouse and Klobuchar and passed today by the United States Senate will:

  • Support education, prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts to address the opioid abuse crisis and help individuals with an opioid use disorder get and stay well;
  • Provide grants to expand access to life-saving opioid overdose reversal medications and support veterans and law enforcement; and
  • Provide grants to states to carry out a comprehensive response to the opioid abuse crisis, including education, prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts.



For access to this release and the senator’s other statements, click here.

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