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Cochran optimistic about fight against heroin & opioid abuse

WASHINGTON, D.C. -In a statement released Friday, U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) is optimistic Congress will agree to provide funding for initiatives to fight heroin and prescription opioid painkiller abuse as authorized in legislation cleared for the President’s signature.

The Senate gave final congressional approval to the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2015 this week.

The authorizing bill would supposedly strengthen federal efforts to assist states and localities fight opioid abuse, improve treatments, and coordinate law enforcement efforts.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill into law.

In a press release issued Friday, Cochran said,”The heroin and prescription drug abuse crisis affecting most states, including Mississippi, is a national concern. The enactment of this federal legislation will allow Congress to aid states and communities as they try to address this growing epidemic.”

“This bill will further guide appropriations to respond to the health, social and law enforcement problems created from opioid abuse. Over the past two years alone, the Appropriations Committee has already approved significant funding increases to fight this problem,” he said.

The rate of overdoses and deaths attributed to heroin and prescription opioid abuse have risen dramatically throughout the country. According to Cochran’s office, nearly 30,000 Americans died from drug-related deaths in 2014, including dozens of heroin and prescription opioid deaths in Mississippi.

While opioid abuse maybe growing across the country, Mississippi is one of the few states getting better at regulating it. According to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network and the Pain and Policy Studies Group, Mississippi went from a “B” to a “B+” in pain management of patients suffering from cancer, due to it’s opioid regulation.

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