Advocacy in 2017: Midyear Update

By
Jess Keefe

We’re working hard every day to make change that will save lives, and we couldn’t do it without your generation donations and passionate grassroots support. Here’s where we stand at 2017’s midpoint.

Launch of our Substance Use Disorder Treatment Task Force

We’ve assembled some of the most experienced, highly credentialed addiction experts in America to tackle one of the biggest problems fueling our country’s current substance use epidemic: lack of access to quality, evidence-based treatment.

Our Substance Use Disorder Treatment Task Force has a focused mission: To fundamentally improve substance use disorder treatment in the United States, in terms of both quality and patient outcomes. We’re taking a business approach to getting this done.

The Task Force will use the latest evidence and science-based recommendations to develop real, actionable solutions to our country’s deadly lack of addiction treatment. We’ve given ourselves an ambitious deadline of October 1, 2017. Stay tuned for updates!

Big win in Arkansas, progress in Georgia, promise in Texas

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are databases that track scripts for addictive drugs and prevent accidental overdoses, and they’re one of Shatterproof’s biggest state advocacy priorities. PDMPs save lives, preventing addiction before it starts and reducing our country’s epidemic of opioid overprescribing. We’ve helped get PDMP laws passed in seven states so far, and this year we’ve been supporting these bills in four new states.

In April, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed SB 339 into law, requiring prescribers to check the PDMP every time an opioid is prescribed and the first time a benzodiazepine is prescribed. It’s a great step for Arkansas!

In March, Georgia passed HB 259 in an attempt to strengthen their state’s PDMP—but the final bill included several damaging loopholes favored by special interests. We’re hopeful that the legislature will revisit this bill soon.

And right now in Texas, we’re advocating for SB 316 to strengthen the state’s PDMP. Even during a tough legislative session, we’ve helped to keep this bill moving through the state legislature and we’re working hard to ensure that it’s signed into law without any loopholes.

Missouri legislator fails to pass PDMP bill

Missouri is the only state in the country without a PDMP. This year, Shatterproof advocated tirelessly for SB 314, introduced by Representative Holly Rehder, which would have finally created a PDMP in the state. Unfortunately, despite plenty of bipartisan support, a small number of legislators were able to prevent the bill from passing. We applaud Rep. Rehder’s efforts, and are ready to keep fighting to protect Missourian families from the devastation of addiction.  

Access to insurance coverage for substance use disorders is protected—for now

Early in 2017, the House of Representatives made moves to repeal the ACA—with no plans for an adequate replacement law in place. We mobilized thousands of supports to call, email, and tweet to their representatives to voice their disapproval, and it had a big impact. The first repeal effort lost steam as a direct result of passionate advocates, including Shatterproof supporters, making their voices heard.

But in May, the House passed the American Health Care Act by a razor-thin margin. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has found that this bill strips away essential funding for people with substance use and behavioral health disorders, and would result in millions of Americans losing access to comprehensive coverage and care.

Lawmakers are eager to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but we need to maintain lifesaving insurance coverage and access to addiction treatment in any new legislation that replaces the ACA. The AHCA doesn’t do that, and we can’t let it pass. Join our AHCA campaign now, and we’ll keep you posted on the progress of this bill or any ACA replacement law.

Your support makes it all happen

100% of every dollar you donate to Shatterproof goes to efforts like these, making real progress to turn the tide on our country’s addiction epidemic.

Sign up for our email list below to receive updates on our advocacy progress, and thanks for everything you do to help make our nation’s families Shatterproof.

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