News Releases

After hearing from patients and advocates around Washington state about the need to address the epidemic, Sen. Murray led the fight in the Senate to secure funding

Bill provides $1 billion over the next two years to support state-level response to the opioid epidemic

States can direct funding to drug monitoring programs, prevention, improving access to treatment, and more

Bill now headed to President’s desk to be signed into law

Murray: “I’m pleased that we were able to work across the aisle to negotiate strong investments in this bill to address this epidemic”

(Washington, D.C.)Today, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded the Senate passage of a bipartisan bill, the 21st Century Cures Act, that invests in a wide range of health care priorities, including funding to tackle the opioid epidemic. Senator Murray has heard from patients and advocates around Washington state about the urgent need for additional resources to address the epidemic. The Cures Act provides $1 billion over the next two fiscal years to support state-level response to the opioid epidemic, with priority placed on hardest-hit states. States will have flexibility in how they choose to direct the funding, including but not limited to: drug monitoring programs, prevention, improving access to treatment, and training health care providers in best practices for prescribing opioids. The bill passed the House of Representatives last week, and now goes to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

“Over the past year, I have heard from countless families and community leaders in our state struggling with the devastating impacts of opioid addiction, so I’m pleased we were able to work across the aisle to negotiate strong investments in this bill to address this epidemic,” said Senator Murray. “Too many struggle with this addiction, and we need to make sure communities have the resources they need to tackle it head on. The investments in this bill to address the opioid epidemic will help bring relief to patients and their families—and I’m going to keep working as hard as I can to end the serious public health threat that opioid misuse has created in Washington state and nationwide.”

In addition to providing $1 billion to tackle the opioid epidemic, the Cures Act includes bipartisan mental health legislation that combines a bill Senator Murray co-authored and passed out of Committee this March with House-passed legislation. The legislation will help expand access to quality care for mental illness and substance use disorders by providing patients with convenient access to contact information for providers, and strengthen coordination between local agencies engaged in crisis intervention. It will also ensure mental health is treated just as important as physical health by insurance companies, and that they incorporate the most up-to-date approaches to treat mental health conditions.

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