Rep. Jennifer Wexton’s Expanding Findings for Federal Opioid Research and Treatment (EFFORT) Act has been signed into law.
Wexton’s bipartisan legislation will expand research into the prevention and treatment of opioid addiction, according to congressional staff.
“While much of our attention is focused on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid addiction crisis continues to ravage our communities,” Wexton (D-Va.-10th) said in a prepared statement.
Wexton said Virginia saw a record number of fatal overdoses last year as isolation and anxiety brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic add new challenges for those who are in recovery. She said Virginia is on track to surpass 2,000 overdose deaths this year after setting a record last year with 1,626 lives lost.
She said the country needs to vigorously study and treat the addiction.
The EFFORT Act expands research into the prevention and treatment of opioid addiction, seeking to promote collaboration and interdisciplinary efforts and close existing gaps in research, according to congressional staff.
The bill directs the National Science Foundation (NSF), in consultation with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to support research that will allow for further understanding of the science of opioid addiction.
Congressman Jim Baird (R-IN) co-sponsored the bill. The Senate companion bill was carried by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) before being signed by then-President Donald Trump (R).Wexton, who represents the 10th Congressional District, which includes Loudoun County, is a founding member of the bipartisan Freshmen Working Group on Addiction with Rep. David Trone (D-MD).