Press Releases

Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force Hosts Naloxone Training, Unveils 2023 Legislative Agenda

**The Task Force’s 2023 Legislative Agenda is available HERE**


Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, Reps. Kuster (D-NH), Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Trone (D-MD), and McClain (R-MI), the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force co-chairs, hosted a naloxone training alongside ONDCP, SAMHSA, medical experts, naloxone manufacturers, and advocacy organizations. Trainers from the Georgetown Hoya DOPE Project conducted the training. During the event, the Task Force co-chairs unveiled the 2023 Legislative Agenda, which outlines a bipartisan path to address the mental health and addiction epidemic.


Studies show that over one in five fatal opioid overdoses could be averted if naloxone was distributed to more people in our communities. Last year, over 72,000 Americans died of overdoses involving synthetic opioids, namely fentanyl.


“Overdose-reversal medications can mean the difference between life and death for thousands of people across the country — that’s why it is so critical we ensure these medications are accessible and affordable,” said the co-chairs. “Thank you to the experts who joined us to train Members of Congress and staff about how to administer these medications. Through our 2023 Legislative Agenda and other advocacy, we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to address the substance use disorder epidemic and help save lives.”


“Naloxone and other opioid overdose reversal medications give people experiencing an overdose a chance at life and there are many more lives to be saved,” said Dr. Yngvild K. Olsen, Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “We are so grateful for all the funding that has allowed us to support the purchase and distribution of naloxone in states and communities across the country and we will continue moving this work forward.”


“As an advocate for overdose prevention, I’m thrilled to see the ways Congress and the Administration are coming together around bipartisan solutions to the overdose crisis,” said Libby Jones, Program Director, Overdose Prevention Initiative at the Global Health Advocacy Incubator. “Recent data show that a third of the U.S. have battled opioid use disorder or know someone who has, and it’s increasingly clear that the overdose crisis affects everyone in this country. I find it reassuring to know because of this training, more than a hundred people now know how to stop an overdose and save a life.”


You can read the Task Force’s 2023 Legislative Agenda here.


The Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force has been a strong advocate for expanding access to naloxone, a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose, and ensuring it is affordable for all. The 2023 Legislative Agenda includes multiple pieces of bipartisan legislation to expand access to naloxone and increase awareness around the effectiveness and use of the drug.