Congressman French Hill ‘Today Marks Successful Progress in Our Fight Against Opioid Epidemic’

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman French Hill (AR-02), issued the following statement after the president signed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, a comprehensive bill to fight the opioid epidemic, into law:

“We’ve been working hard to combat the current prescription drug and opioid crisis. Today marks successful progress with the president signing into law this comprehensive opioid bill that includes nearly 60 individual pieces of legislation we passed in the House this year with my support. With overdoses now killing as many Americans every 10 months as in the 15 years of the Vietnam War, we are taking significant steps to provide Arkansans and Americans with the help they need.

“This comprehensive bill also expands access to addiction treatment and prevention programs and enhances law enforcement efforts to curtail the trafficking of illegal drugs. I’m particularly pleased that this measure includes similar provisions from my bill I introduced earlier this year, H.R. 5459, the Ending the Fentanyl Crisis Act, which targets the flow of fentanyl into our country through the mail system from China and Mexico. Through careful legislation and community engagement in central Arkansas and across the country, we can help save the lives of our loved ones and continue to fight this terrible epidemic.”


The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, H.R. 6, passed the House by a vote of 396-14 in June. The Senate passed a version of this bill on September 17, 2018, and on September 28, 2018, the House passed the final bicameral, bipartisan, negotiated legislation, which combats the opioid crisis in a number of ways. President Trump signed this legislation into law, which does the following:

  • Lifts for 5 years the prohibition on Medicaid payments for substance abuse treatment in facilities with more than 16 beds.
  • Allows hospice employees to dispose of opioids after a patient’s death.
  • Expands access to medication-assisted substance abuse treatment.
  • Secures our mail system from shipments of fentanyl and other dangerous synthetic drugs coming from China and Mexico.