Miami, FL – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the following statement today regarding U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price’s announcement that the administration will provide $485 million in grants to help states fight opioid addiction, including more than $27 million to Florida:
“In just the last week I’ve met and talked with local officials and members of law enforcement in West Palm Beach, Pensacola, and Jacksonville about how the opioid epidemic is ravaging Florida’s communities. It’s clear that we must do more to make sure people seeking help are able to get the treatment they need. I’m glad Secretary Price is taking this problem seriously, and that Florida will have these additional resources to combat the dangerous drugs that are destroying so many lives.”
Rubio supported the 21st Century Cures Act, which became law in December 2016 and authorized $1 billion over two years for states to combat the opioid epidemic. The grants announced today will be administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
This year, Rubio introduced the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, legislation that would restrict the flow of fentanyl into the country via the U.S. Postal Service. He also introduced the INTERDICT Act, legislation that would provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with additional tools to help detect and interdict fentanyl and other illicit synthetic opioids. Last month, the Senate passed a Rubio-sponsored resolution calling for international cooperation to address the trafficking of illicit fentanyl into the United States.
In 2016, Rubio chaired a Western Hemisphere subcommittee hearing on the international roots of America’s heroin epidemic, and helped pass into law the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA), legislation aimed at addressing the heroin and opioid crisis.