President Joe Biden has signed into law a bill to help fight the growing opioid crisis across the country.
The DUMP Opioids Act, authored by Senator John Kennedy, will allow certain VA medical centers to have drop boxes so anyone can drop off unused medications. The Senate unanimously passed the legislation in April, and the House of Representatives did the same earlier this week.
"With the DUMP Opioids Act law, Americans will have an easy, safe way to get unneeded prescription opioids off the street. The pandemic has contributed to the opioid epidemic, and I'm thankful that President Biden and Congress came together to put this commonsense, compassionate law in place. Louisiana communities struggling against this crisis now have a key tool to fight and prevent addiction—and that makes everyone safer," said Kennedy.
Beginning in 2022, certain VA medical centers will be approved to have drop boxes that veterans can use every day to drop off unused medications, and the DUMP Opioids Act will make those drop boxes accessible to their entire communities. The bill instructs the VA Secretary to designate times that the public can dispose of those prescriptions at the drop boxes and allows the secretary to carry out public information campaigns to highlight those times.
The crisis has "hit families in Louisiana and the country. and it hits us every day. and i do believe the dump opioids act will make everyone in our communities safer," Kennedy said.
President Biden's signature comes the day after Opioid Awareness Day in Louisiana, which Gov. Edwards declared to recognize the growing opioid crisis in the state.
In 2018, nearly 40 percent of the 1,100 drug overdose deaths involved opioids - that's more than 400 people. In 2019 and 2020, overdose deaths jumped between 50 to 75 percent.
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