Tenney joins the fight to combat veteran opioid abuse

Rep. Claudia Tenney

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) announced that she is an original cosponsor of the Veterans Opioid Abuse Prevention Act. The bipartisan bill, introduced by U.S. Army Veteran and doctor, Congressman Neal Dunn (FL-02), will connect doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to a national network of state-based prescription drug monitoring programs. These programs are currently used by 49 states to track prescribing data and history of patients who are prescribed drugs containing narcotics, which can be highly addictive.

With the number of people dying from opioid abuse on the rise, this program would assist the VA in monitoring veterans who are prescribed drugs and are in danger of opioid abuse.

“Prescription drug abuse is a crisis that has hit our veterans particularly hard. It’s estimated that veterans are twice as likely to fall victim to the opioid epidemic as civilians,” said Tenney. “As the mother of an active duty Marine and the representative of a district with over 55,000 veterans, it is among my top priorities to ensure that the VA has the tools necessary to provide the highest quality of care for our nation’s heroes. Partnering VA doctors and health care providers with state-based PDMPs is an important step forward in empowering staff at the VA with the information necessary to end this epidemic. I commend Congressman Dunn for his tireless advocacy on behalf of our veterans and I am honored to cosponsor this vitally important bill.”

In July, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis issued a report recommending that interstate data sharing among PDMPs be improved in order to allow the VA, health care providers and states better cooperate and share important records to end this epidemic.

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