NEW YORK (Sputnik) — The US Senate passed a bill meant to curb the growing opioid epidemic in the United States, Senator Richard Blumenthal said in a statement.
"In the face of a spiraling opioid crisis, this bipartisan legislation will give communities the tools they need to tackle the deadly epidemic head on," Blumenthal said Thursday.
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act seeks to expand access to prescription drug monitoring programs, prevention and educational programs aimed at teenagers and the availability of the opioid antidote naloxone to law enforcement agencies.
Illicit drug use has been on the rise in the United States, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In 2014, about 1.9 million US citizens suffered from prescription opioid pain medicines abuse, while 586,000 had a heroin use disorder.
Opioids were involved in 28,648 deaths in the United States in 2014, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.