WASHINGTON – October 24 – Following the president’s signature of the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6), National League of Cities (NLC) released the following statement:
“City leaders applaud the president for signing this wide-ranging bipartisan bill to address the opioid crisis that is ravaging cities of all sizes. However, we are concerned that this bill does not go far enough to address our nation’s overall substance abuse and addiction problem. While local governments are making progress in reducing opioid related overdoses, other drug-related deaths from methamphetamine and cocaine are once again on the rise in many of our communities. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, there was a 40 percent increase in cocaine-related deaths and a 42 percent increase in meth-related deaths in 2017.
Substance abuse disorder and addiction is one of our nation’s biggest health problems. If we only tackle one drug addiction at a time, we will never get ahead of what is devastating our communities and killing so many of our young people. We urge the administration and Congress to do more to make sure local leaders have the funding and resources they need to establish comprehensive substance abuse disorder prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery programs for their communities.
Additionally, NLC calls on Congress to require states that receive a federal block grant for substance use prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery services to pass through at least 80 percent of the funding to local governments and programs or require federal agencies to allocate at least 20 percent of the appropriated funding towards competitive grant funding to support local efforts. We are pleased to see funds bring appropriated and supported, but if they aren’t being spent and reaching the local level, then they aren’t doing their job. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress and the administration on these important next steps.”
Thousands of city leaders will gather November 7-10 in Los Angeles, California, for NLC’s annual City Summit conference. City Summit is the only national meeting that offers best practices and networking opportunities for both elected officials and city staff. Learn more at citysummit.nlc.org.
The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 280 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.