Congressman Knight votes on several bills to tackle and prevent opioid addiction

Congressman Steve Knight answers media questions during a post-town hall interview at the Rancho Santa Susana Community Center in Simi Valley on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Congressman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, voted to pass multiple bills in the House of Representatives designed to combat the growing opioid crisis across the nation, according to a news release.

“While this is a step in the right direction, there is still more work to be done to make sure no more American citizens lose their life or the life of a loved one to opioids,” Knight said.

Legislation included the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act, H.R. 2851. Knight cosponsored this bill that would give Attorney General Jeff Sessions the authority to quickly and temporarily schedule a new dangerous drug that appears identical to a currently scheduled drug. Scheduling is circumvented by drug traffickers by altering a single molecule within a controlled substance, making it legal while also lethal.

H.R. 5009, known as Jessie’s Law, would make sure medical professionals have access to the health information history of their patients before making decisions on treatment. Named after a former heroin addict who overdosed on prescribed opioids, the law would allow doctors to be made aware of any possible substance abuse history before making a prescription.

The Veterans Treatment Improvement Act, H.R. 2147, would employ 50 specialists for Veterans Justice Outreach to help veterans involved in the criminal justice system to have greater access at Veterans Treatment Courts. With more specialists, more courts can be set up and help with cases. The Department of Veterans Affairs would hire those specialists.

Lastly the Synthetic Drugs Awareness Act, H.R. 449, would require the United States Surgeon General to report on the public health effects of synthetic drug use by young people aged 12 to 18. Congress will use this information to educate parents and the medical community on how synthetic drugs affect health, as they are not intended for medical use.

Along with these bills, 33 other bills were passed through the House to target the opioid crisis.

The above information was obtained by The Signal via a news release from the office of Representative Steve Knight.

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