Capito introduces bipartisan, bicameral bill to help Americans fight substance use disorder

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) on Jan. 9 introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to establish a grant program for community organizations that provide support for individuals and their families struggling with substance use disorder.

“This bipartisan legislation will hopefully provide family members with the support, resources and information they need to assist both their loved one struggling with addiction and all within their family who are impacted by it,” Sen. Capito said.

The lawmaker cosponsored the Family Support Services for Addiction Act of 2020, S. 3179, with bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), while U.S. Reps. Dan Meuser (R-PA) and David Trone (D-MD) introduced the companion bill, H.R. 5572, in their chamber.

If enacted, the bill would authorize a $25 million grant program over five years to help national and local nonprofit organizations provide family support services for addiction treatment.

The legislation comes as the nation continues to fight an opioid addiction epidemic that claimed almost 50,000 American lives from overdose in 2016-2017, according to Sen. Capito’s office.

“As we continue to combat the addiction crisis in West Virginia and across the nation, it has become clear that addiction’s impact goes far beyond those struggling with substance use disorders,” said Sen. Capito. “Too often, those surrounding this individual feel isolated, ashamed, and unsure where to turn for reliable information and advice.”

The bill would be administered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and would include programs such as caregiver peer support, education and training, systems navigation for families trying to access treatment and other resources, counseling services, support groups, and skill-building, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Capito’s office.