Representative Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, said he has joined a congressional bipartisan task force to craft legislation to fight heroin addiction.
The task force, led by Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-Conn., and Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., has created 17 bills over seven different heroin-related subject areas. Two of the bills have already passed the House and one has also passed the Senate.
“For far too long, the heroin and opioid epidemic has plagued our communities and cost the lives of countless Americans.” Knight said. “The comprehensive slate of ambitious and forward-thinking legislation released today will attack this challenge from all sides. I want to thank Congressman MacArthur and Congresswoman Kuster for their leadership and advocacy on this issue.”
Of the 17 bills, Knight co-sponsored one, the Road to Recovery Act, and he voted in favor of the INTERDICT Act.
The Road to Recovery Act would help states expand access to inpatient treatment for Medicaid enrollees while the INTERDICT Act gave $15 million to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to fund new screening devices, laboratory equipment, facilities, and personnel to detect fentanyl and other synthetic opioids., according to task force documents.
“During my time as an LAPD officer, I saw first hand the devastation addiction and dependency can cause,” he said. “This is an issue we must address immediately. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance these priorities into law and help protect American lives and neighborhoods.”
Knight’s move comes less than a year after a 28-year-old Castaic man apparently died of a drug overdose and at least seven other people were treated for overdoses within 12 hours of the man’s death. In June, sheriff’s deputies anticipated receiving the drug naloxone—also known as Narcan—which can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid while paramedics are en route with emergency medical equipment.