Capito offers bipartisan, bicameral Family Support Services for Addiction Act

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) recently proposed a bipartisan, bicameral bill that would provide $25 million in federal grants to nonprofits and community organizations that offer support services to families of individuals who have a substance use disorder.

“The past few years have been tough on all of us, but especially for those in addiction treatment and recovery, as well as their families,” Sen. Capito said on March 21. “This bipartisan legislation will hopefully provide family members with the support, resources, and information they need to assist both their loved ones struggling with substance use disorders and all within their family who are impacted by it.”

The Family Support Services for Addiction Act, which Sen. Capito introduced alongside U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), would provide the grants through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over five years to bolster national and local community programs that offer family support services, which include 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 offered by the lawmakers.

U.S. Reps. Daniel Meuser (R-PA) and David Trone (D-MD) unveiled the same-named bill in the U.S. House. 

In a statement released on Tuesday, the lawmakers noted that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families with individuals suffering a substance use disorder struggled to access basic support services. And even when services are offered, they often come at an additional cost. 

Research from HHS shows that outcomes can improve when family members are involved in a loved one’s treatment, the statement says.