News brief: New U.S. Bill to Tackle Heroin and Prescription Opioid Epidemic

by Mary C. Piemonte

U.S. President Barack Obama recently signed the new 21st Century Cures Act, the last bill signed into law under his administration. The legislation aims to combat the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic that is “ripping apart families and communities.”

Additionally, $1.8 billion is earmarked to be spent under the Cures Act to “invest in programs to improve mental health treatment and suicide prevention, and provide resources for President Obama’s BRAIN and Precision Medicine initiatives, so that our world-class researchers can figure out how to better prevent, treat, and eventually cure Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injuries,” according to U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden in an Internet infomail sent out from the White House on December 13, 2016.

Biden added that a section of the bill on cancer research was renamed for his son Beau, who died from brain cancer back in May, 2015.

“While I was presiding in the Senate, my colleagues from both sides of the aisle renamed the section of this bill on cancer research for my son, Beau, who lost his battle with brain cancer, but like countless Americans who lost their own battles, inspires us to do everything we can for the loved ones we can save… God willing, this bill will save lives,” Biden said.

Click here for more information on President Obama’s discussion with Grammy Award-winning hip hop artist Macklemore regarding the opioid addiction epidemic in America during his weekly address on May 14, 2016.


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