Cities Applaud Efforts by Congress, Administration to Address Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON — July 6, 2016 — Actions taken today by the federal government to address the opioid epidemic — including a report passed by a Congressional conference committee and a new rule announced by the administration to expand access to treatment — follow local efforts to stem the tide of opioid and prescription painkiller addiction. The National League of Cities (NLC), the nation's largest and most representative membership organization for municipal officials, applauds federal efforts that address the opioid epidemic and provide support to local governments who are on the front lines. Cities urge Congress to swiftly adopt the conference report so that the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (S. 524) can be signed into law and the necessary funds can be appropriated to help those affected by this public health crisis.

"As a nation, we must pull out all the stops to tackle the opioid crisis that's devastating our communities. Today, Congress and the administration took steps to expand treatment and help those gripped by addiction, and we applaud their actions," said Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and executive director of the National League of Cities (NLC). "Cities urge Congress to swiftly approve the bipartisan conference report, and provide the necessary funding during the appropriations process. To make real progress in the fight against opioid addiction, all levels of government must work together in partnership."  

Local governments have been leading the fight against the opioid epidemic. In March, NLC and the National Association of Counties (NACo) named a 24-member task force of city and county officials to strengthen collaboration with each other and state, federal, private-sector and non-profit partners to tackle the opioid crisis.  

Chaired by NLC Second Vice President Mark Stodola, mayor, Little Rock, Arkansas, the task force will convene next month to share experiences, engage with national experts and explore solutions to the opioid crisis. This fall, the task force will publish a national summary report with policy recommendations and best practices that promote prevention and education, effective treatment options, public safety and community wellness.   More information on the opioid epidemic, including information and resources for local officials, may be found here  

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The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. www.nlc.org