Congressman Knight pushes for more solutions on opioid abuse

Signal file photo: Congressman Steve Knight answers questions from constituents during a town hall at Canyon High School on Thursday, June 1, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
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Congressman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, discussed Thursday support for provisions aimed at the fight against opioid abuse in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill signed into law last week.

The bill approved by President Donald Trump allocates $1 billion for grants to states and Indian tribes to address the opioid epidemic; $476 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for increased opioid overdose surveillance and prevention at all levels; $500 million or more to support opioid addiction research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and $130 million for the Rural Communities Opioid Response program that targets substance abuse in rural areas.

The approved provisions support initiatives of Knight, who is a member of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force. The congressman previously introduced a bill to establish minimum quality standards for addiction recovery homes — H.R. 5100, the Recovery Home Certification Act — with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, D-San Jose, on Feb. 27. The bill would also propose consequences for those who abuse the system.

“We’re in the arena of helping people that are hooked on drugs, and there are some good players out there doing their parts to help and there are some bad players using this as a money maker,” Knight said of addiction recovery homes. “This is a good step to move in the right direction to make sure people who are needing help are not being scammed.”

Knight said he wanted to ensure people got the necessary help. “I want them to actually get help from clinicians, so it’s not just Joe Schmo putting up a house and saying, ‘You can get a crash pad here.’”

The bill is now being considered by the House Energy & Commerce Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.

“This is something that’s brand new,” Knight said. “It’s just starting to get into suburbia and other places that you haven’t seen it before. I think it’s going to be an all-out war and it’s going to have to continue, not just from government, but from locals and churches. Everybody’s going to have to push and make sure we’re looking out for our young people.”


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