Rep. Sherrill Introduces Legislation to Expand Opioid Resources for Medical and Health Professionals

January 17, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC -- Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) and Representative Andy Kim (NJ-03) introduced the Solutions not Stigmas Act (H.R. 5631) to allow medical and other health professional schools to access federal grant funding to enhance patient-provider education. Specifically, it would provide resources for schools to develop their curricula to address existing stigma and bias, improve patient care, and increase preparedness with respect to substance use disorder and chronic pain treatment. The funding would also support clinical training experiences in primary care, mental and behavioral health.

“Teachers, parents, and medical professionals in our community consistently highlight the issue of stigma as a significant barrier to overcoming the opioid epidemic,” said Representative Sherrill. “We can help prevent addiction and increase awareness by giving our medical and health professionals increased access to grant funding and clinical training. The opioid epidemic has hit New Jersey particularly hard, and I’m proud to work with Congressman Kim on this legislation.”

“Over the past year, I’ve met with people throughout Burlington and Ocean Counties who have struggled with the opioid and addiction crisis. I’ve listened, and today I’m proud to join with my colleagues to launch these bills,” said Congressman Kim. “When we bring these problems out into the open, we can increase awareness for medical professionals and accountability for those who approve bringing these drugs to market. By doing this, we can more effectively address the issues that lead to opioid use and make progress towards our aim of saving lives.”

The Solutions not Stigmas Act has earned the support of the American Association of Medical Colleges, Shatterproof, the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and the American College of Academic Addiction Medicine.

Representative Sherrill led a bipartisan effort last year to increase funding for State Opioid Response (SOR) grants that help local groups like the Center for Prevention and Counseling in Sussex County fund recovery programs. The appropriations package passed in December 2019 included $1.5 billion for the SOR grant program.