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A bill from Sens. Jon Ossoff and Chuck Grassley aimed at fighting the opioid epidemic in rural areas passed the Senate Thursday night via unanimous consent, as overdose deaths hit a record high in the United States.
The bill would create a pilot program specifically dedicated to fighting opioid in rural communities, which are particularly hard hit by the crisis.
“With today’s passage of my bipartisan bill to reduce opioid addiction, overdoses, and deaths, the Senate proved Democrats and Republicans can still work together to get things done,” Ossoff, D-Ga., said after the bill passed.
“Thanks @ChuckGrassley for the teamwork,” he said in a tweet.
According to the CDC, the U.S. saw more than 100,000 drug overdose deaths between April 2020 and April 2021, 75,673 of which were from opioids. That is a 35% increase in opioid overdose deaths from the previous 12-month period.
Reps. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., and Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, support the companion bill in the House. It is unclear when that lower chamber will take up the bill.