Senator Deb Fischer says the issue of heroin and opioid abuse and overdose deaths is growing.
“It’s an issue in many, many states,” Fischer said on her weekly conference call. “West Virginia, New Hampshire, Ohio are examples of where they’re seeing a number of deaths every day related to this. I can tell you it’s now moving into Nebraska.”
Senator Ben Sasse was one of the only two votes against the bill.
He does not think the federal government should have a role in fighting addiction.
Fischer says the bill will provide resources to state and local groups to fight the problem.
“So that they can develop programs to address this at the local level,” she says. “I think that’s the perfect way for the federal government to be involved – to provide resources when we have, truly, an epidemic in many states.”
The bill creates programs to treat addiction in prisons and provides grants to help target groups affected by addiction, including women and veterans.