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March 22, 2019 (Cleveland)

Opioid Consortium Supports Federal COPE Act of 2019



Opioid Consortium Supports Federal COPE Act of 2019The Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium has lent its support to the Comprehensive Opioid Program Extension Act (COPE Act) of 2019, federal legislation designed to combat the opioid crisis by augmenting the resources available to the U.S. Department of Justice’s comprehensive opioid abuse reduction activities.

The bill, recently introduced by U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce (R-14), calls for a $70 million per-year increase in funding for the comprehensive opioid abuse grant program from 2020 through 2024, bringing the total provided annually for these grants to $400 million. The grants help local communities battle the opioid epidemic by:

  • providing training and resources for first responders on opioid overdose reversal drugs and devices;
  • enhancing collaboration between state criminal justice agencies and substance abuse agencies;
  • enhancing law enforcement efforts to combat the illegal distribution of opioids; and
  • developing or expanding programs related to youth opioid abuse prevention, drug take-back initiatives, and treatment alternatives to incarceration.

“The Opioid Consortium applauds Congressman Joyce for taking a stand to address the opioid epidemic impacting our community,” said Randy Jernejcic, M.D., physician chair of the Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium and vice president of clinical integration at University Hospitals. “To solve this crisis we need a multi-faceted approach that tackles the problem from all angles, which means funding of programs that focus on prevention, treatment and harm reduction. As we have demonstrated with the Opioid Consortium, collaboration and the sharing of best practices have made us collectively stronger. I’m pleased to see this legislation also encourages a team approach."

"With Ohio being one of the states hit the hardest by this epidemic, finding solutions to the opioid crisis has been one of my top priorities in Congress,” said Joyce. “If we’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that battling this epidemic requires an all-of-the-above approach that includes not only prevention and education efforts, but also promotes treatment, cracks down on illegal distribution, and enhances resources for first responders and law enforcement. We need to make sure that federal funding effectively supports all of the life-saving work our local communities are carrying out on the front lines of this crisis, and the COPE Act does just that."

The bill, H.R.1528, has garnered two additional cosponsors from Ohio – Rep. Tim Ryan (D-13) and Rep. Michael Turner (R-10) – and is currently in the House Committee on the Judiciary.

MORE: For more on the Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium, contact us.

TWEETABLE: #OpioidConsortium supports @RepDaveJoyce's COPE Act, which increases grant funding available for activities to combat the opioid crisis.