U.S. House Approves Legislation To Educate Doctors And Patients On Opioid Risks

May 12, 2016

Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington in March.
Credit Carolyn Kaster / AP

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill to create a taskforce that will oversee updates to standards for educating doctors on how they manage patients’ pain without putting them at risk of opioid addiction.

The House also passed an amendment, co-written by Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), designed to make information on opioid addiction more available to the public as well as doctors.

“Those who prescribe narcotics would benefit from an increased education about the dangers of addiction and ways in which they can help minimize the risks associated with prescribing narcotics. Those hardest hit by this epidemic would benefit by having access to education materials, in our schools, community centers and from local law enforcement that helps warn people about the dangers of opioid use and possible addiction.” 

Both the amendment and the bill were approved by the House on Wednesday. The bill will go to a committee that will combine all opioid legislation passed by the House and the Senate. The comprehensive bill will move on to President Obama’s desk for his signature.