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Paulsen Backs Legislation to Combat Opioid Abuse Epidemic

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Erik Paulsen (MN-03) voted for, and the U.S. House of Representatives passed, the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act to address the serious problem of opioid abuse. The bill authorizes the federal government to award grants to states to carry out a comprehensive opioid abuse response through education, treatment, law enforcement training, and recovery efforts to prevent overdose deaths.

“Nearly 2 million Americans are addicted to or abuse prescription opiate-based painkillers, which impacts not only these individuals, but their loved ones and communities as well,” said Paulsen. “This bipartisan legislation fights back against this epidemic by empowering state and local governments. This commonsense approach brings together law enforcement, health care providers, and recovery organizations to combat opioid abuse.”

Since 1999, the amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled, despite no overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report. As a result of this bill, grants will be awarded to states to establish, implement, and improve state-based prescription drug monitoring programs, among other programs and initiatives. Additionally, the Congressional Budget Office estimates this legislation will reduce the federal deficit by $47 billion over the next ten years.

Paulsen, a champion of small business and advocate of free enterprise, entrepreneurship, and innovation, serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, the bicameral Joint Economic Committee, and is co-chair of the Congressional Medical Technology Caucus.

For more information on Congressman Paulsen’s work in Congress visit