KUNM

Opioid Bill Clears U.S. House

Dec 1, 2016

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that could bring new money to fight the nation’s opioid epidemic. It’s a measure that could have big impacts in New Mexico.

The 21st Century Cures Act would fund opioid prevention and treatment programs to the tune of $1 billion. It calls for the money to be prioritized towards states with the highest rates of opioid addiction. That would seem to put New Mexico in a good position, since we rank at the top of the national list for addiction and overdose.

Rio Arriba County could see some important benefits from this new money—detox and recovery centers there are severely underfunded, despite having the state’s highest overdose rate.

The bill would also channel nearly $5 billion of federal money towards medical research. It passed with broad support in the House, and heads to the Senate next week.