What We Know: Hope for action on heroin, opioid addiction

AP News
Posted: Jan 27, 2016 5:08 PM
What We Know: Hope for action on heroin, opioid addiction

The growing problem of heroin and opioid addiction is attracting some bipartisan attention on Capitol Hill. A closer look at prospects for action:

— Senate and House bills establishing grants to combat drug abuse, improve treatment and bolster law enforcement programs are winning support from members of both parties.

—President Barack Obama has identified such legislation as one area where lawmakers "might surprise the cynics" and get something done in an election year.

—There are still political hurdles. Some Republicans prefer greater emphasis on law enforcement attempts to stop heroin from entering the U.S. from Mexico, and there are concerns about the measure's cost.

—Some Senate Republicans seeking re-election this November are facing criticism on the issue from Democrats trying to oust them.

—U.S. drug overdose deaths have more than doubled since 2000, with a record 47,000 deaths in 2014.

—Six in 10 of those deaths involved opioids, which include prescription pain relievers like hydrocodone and oxycodone, and heroin.