WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald J. Trump signed H.R. 6, the SUPPORT Act, into law Wednesday, which includes Congressman Jason Smith’s (MO-08) Perioperative Reduction of Opioids (PRO) Act, designed to fight the opioid addiction epidemic in the United States.
Rep. Smith’s legislation will help prevent opioid misuse and abuse after patients are discharged from surgery, where patients are most likely to be exposed to opioids. Smith’s bill will also better inform patients on pain management and set up systems for safe storage and disposal of unused opioid prescriptions.
“President Trump is working hard to fight the opioid crisis on all fronts, and by signing my legislation today we are addressing the problem at the source,” said Congressman Smith. “Millions of patients every year are exposed to opioids after surgery and have too many pills leftover. The excess of opioids on our streets creates opportunities for addiction, resale, and abuse within our communities. I thank President Trump for his tireless work to curb the opioid epidemic and for protecting vulnerable patients today from unnecessary exposure to addictive opioids.”
Congressman Smith’s legislation focuses on the surgical setting and the role it plays in long-term opioid addiction. Eighty percent of patients who step foot in a surgery room receive opioids, and roughly seventy-five percent of patients have leftover unused opioids after a surgery. Because of Smith’s legislation, the medical community will have the tools they need to minimize unnecessary opioid exposure during surgery.
“Congressman Smith has consistently supported our communities and law enforcement as we fight opioid addiction, which has taken so many of our loved ones,” said Poplar Bluff Chief of Police Danny Whiteley. “Opioid addiction is one of the biggest problems facing rural communities, and we’re proud that Congressman Smith has felt our pain and advocated for real solutions to fight this terrible epidemic.”
According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs and a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
Saturday, October 27th was the Drug Enforcement Agency’s 16th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Anyone with unused prescriptions can safely and anonymously dispose of unused prescriptions at one of the thousands of collection sites. In April, the National Take Back Day removed 474 tons of unwanted prescription drugs from the streets.