Yesterday, the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee unanimously approved 12 bi-partisan legislative initiatives aimed at tackling opioid and drug abuse issues affecting communities across the country.
H.R. 3250, The DXM Abuse Prevention Act, authored by Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) is one such piece of legislation. Long supported by CADCA, the bill would restrict the sale of products containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to adults over age 18 nationwide and place restrictions on distribution of bulk DXM.
Like other prescription and over the counter medicines, when used properly, DXM is completely safe. However, in recent years, a subset of teens have been abusing this drug. When ingested in high dosages side effects can include confusion, dizziness, double or blurred vision, slurred speech, loss of physical coordination vomiting, rapid heartbeat, and in some cases, unintended fatalities.
Age restrictions provide an effective way to limit access to the small teen population likely to abuse cough medicine. CADCA and its 5,000 members nationwide commend the subcommittee’s efforts to protect our youth and move this important legislation forward.
CADCA also supports the subcommittee’s approval of the following pieces of legislation:
- The Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Expansion and Modernization Act, authored by Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-Ind.) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), which takes important measures to expand access to medication-assisted treatment and minimize the potential for drug diversion.
- H.R. 4586, Lali’s Law, authored by Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) and Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), which authorizes grants for states to develop standing orders for naloxone prescriptions while educating health care professionals on dispensing of opioid overdose reversal medications.
All of these efforts are critical to maintaining safe, healthy and drug-free communities. At a time when our country is grappling with a devastating opioid and heroin epidemic, we need to enact concrete solutions for the future. In 2014, the CDC reported over 47,000 overdose deaths, with over 14,000 coming from prescription drugs and over 10,500 coming from heroin. Now, more than ever, we need to enact these proposals. CADCA thanks the subcommittee for taking action on these issues.