Knight introduces bill to prevent opioid addiction among veterans

Congressman Steve Knight answers questions from constituents during a town hall at the Chimbole Cultural Center in Palmdale on Saturday, March 4, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

The Combating Opioid Misuse Before Addiction for our Troops (COMBAT) Act would address overprescription in military healthcare, according to a news release from Congressman Steve Knight’s office.

In an effort to address the opioid epidemic, Knight, R-Palmdale, introduced H.R. 6165, the Combating Opioid Misuse Before Addiction for our Troops (COMBAT) Act, with Representative Tom O’Halleran, D-Arizona, and Representative Seth Moulton, D-Massachusetts.

“One of the primary causes of the opioid epidemic is the over-prescription and easy proliferation of powerful painkillers and other opioids,” said Congressman Knight in a statement on Tuesday. “The COMBAT Act will help curtail this problem by more responsibly controlling the flow of these drugs while still allowing care providers the flexibility to address unique patient needs.”

This bill, which was introduced June 20, prevents the overprescription of opioids to active duty servicemembers, their families and retirees who use TRICARE, by requiring the implementation of a seven-day, first-fill limit for opioid prescriptions. The COMBAT Act is sponsored by O’Halleran with Knight as the Republican co-lead.

“I’m proud to co-lead this measure with Representative O’Halleran and would like to thank him for his leadership on this issue,” said Knight.

As a former homicide investigator, O’Halleran has seen the devastating impact of drug abuse on communities, according to a news release from his office.

“States and private industry are leading the charge in stopping overprescription, and Congress must follow suit and provide this population with the support they need,” said O’Halleran. “This commonsense measure will place a reasonable limit on opioid prescriptions to prevent abuse and addiction.”

“In my 18 years as a police officer, I saw firsthand the damage that opiates and other drugs can inflict on families and communities,” said Knight. “Military service members risk their lives to keep our nation safe and we owe it to them to ensure the care they receive is properly structured so they they may live long, happy, and healthy lives.

Knight is a former officer of the Los Angeles Police Department and current member of the House Armed Services Committee. He is also a member of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force in the House of Representatives.

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

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