Congressman Donald Norcross

Representing the 1st District of New Jersey
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Norcross Announces the Improve Addiction Education Act

Aug 8, 2017
News Release
The Vice-Chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force Also Sends Letter to President on Latest Opioid Commission Report

CHERRY HILL, NJ – Ahead of President Donald Trump’s briefing on the opioid epidemic this afternoon in New Jersey, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Vice-Chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, announces the Improve Addiction Education Act and encourages the Administration to support the plan.

“We can do better for those struggling with addiction. We can have better guidelines for medical school courses, better curriculum to address safe prescribing and better implementation of the medical education regulations that already exist,” said Congressman Norcross.

Currently, there are varied and voluntary instruction standards nationwide. Norcross’ Improve Addiction Education Act:

• Tasks the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) to better collaborate with the medical education community to create a comprehensive set of guidelines for the content and certification of courses that address the topic of addiction management and prevention.

• Requires any physician applying for a license with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to prescribe controlled substances with significant risks of dependency to demonstrate that they have taken one of the certified courses.

Norcross added: “This is a national emergency. The soaring rise in deaths fueled by heroin and prescription painkillers is reported at 60,000 per year and is thought to be 75,000 when you include unreported cases. Addiction education reform can help our friends and neighbors struggling with the disease of addiction.”

The Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic is a group of lawmakers from across the political spectrum who are united against the public health crisis and have a legislative agenda to combat the crisis.

This morning, Norcross sent a letter with Co-Chair of the Task Force, Rep. Annie Kuster, and colleagues to President Trump calling for action to address the opioid epidemic. The letter comes following the initial findings of The Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, which was released after the commission missed two self-imposed deadlines. The letter outlines the need to increase funding for treatment and recovery services, as well as cease efforts to roll back access to health insurance.

In the letter, the members wrote: “While we appreciate that the Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis led by Governor Chris Christie finally released its interim report on July 31st, we remain concerned that the Trump Administration has not done enough to prioritize the opioid epidemic.”

Recent Related Content

  • Norcross successfully attached an amendment that helps veterans struggling with the disease of addiction to the National Defense Appropriation Act on July 26, 2017.
  • Norcross hosted a Community Conversation on the Disease of Addiction in Washington Township on July 20, 2017.
  • Norcross reacted to the Senate GOP healthcare plan, which could make the opioid epidemic worse, on July 13, 2017.
  • Norcross and colleagues unveiled the legislative agenda of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force on June 27, 2017.
  • Norcross and colleagues introduced the Road to Recovery Act on June 20, 2017.
  • Norcross and Rep. Meehan announced interstate drug information sharing between NJ and PA on June 12, 2017.

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Contact: Ally Kehoe, Communications Director
ally.kehoe@mail.house.gov