Federal Action Agenda

We are calling on Congress and the Administration to ensure that funds appropriated for substance abuse, treatment, prevention and recovery programs are accessible to cities, towns and villages. Together, we can drive back the tragic effects of the epidemic of heroin and prescription opioid abuse in our communities. 

 Local leaders throughout the nation – from both urban and rural communities – have been aggressively developing policies and programs to address substance abuse disorders, but many local governments lack the necessary resources to mount a comprehensive response to the opioid and heroin epidemic. 

Efforts to reduce the number of opioid and heroin overdoses in our cities requires a strong partnership between local, state and federal health and law enforcement programs. While Congress has authorized billions of dollars in federal funding to states for opioid abuse prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery services, there is a lack of clarity from Congress and the Administration on how States should use the money that has left millions of dollars in federal funding unspent. 

Action and Legislation

  • Support H.R. 7893 to Establish a Mental Health and Substance Abuse Response Grant Program 
  • NLC Calls on Congress to cosponsor H.R. 7983, the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Support During COVID-19 Act, introduced by Representative Bryan Steil (R-WI-1). This bill would allow awarded states to partner with local governments or community organizations and establish awareness and recovery programs.  


Report: A Prescription for Action: Local Leadership in Ending the Opioid Crisis
NLC has been at the forefront of efforts to combat the opioid crisis. In 2016, NLC and the National Association of Counties (NACo) launched the City-County National Task Force on the Opioid Epidemic, which released the report, A Prescription for Action: Local Leadership in Ending the Opioid Crisis. The report provides recommendations for how local officials should address the opioid crisis and explores how cities and counties can strengthen collaboration with each other and state, federal, private-sector and non-profit partners.  

A Prescription for Action: Local Leadership in Ending the Opioid Crisis