Rep. Cook Votes to Combat Drug Abuse
WASHINGTON- Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for H.R. 5046, The Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act of 2016. The measure passed the House overwhelmingly.
The bill establishes a comprehensive opioid abuse grant program at the Department of Justice (DOJ). It authorizes $103 million annually through 2021 for the DOJ to make grants to states, local governments, and Indian tribes for opioid reduction programs. The bill provides resources for first responders and law enforcement, criminal investigations for the unlawful distribution of opioids, drug courts, and residential substance abuse treatment. It provides maximum flexibility to states using the grant dollars.
The United States is experiencing an epidemic of drug overdose deaths. Since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137 percent, including a 200 percent increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (opioid pain relievers and heroin).
Rep. Cook said, “With drug abuse on the rise in the U.S., particularly opioid drug abuse, this bill is an important piece of bipartisan legislation that will crack down on the abuse of these dangerous drugs, both by providing funds for treatment and punishing those who are illegally distributing them.”
A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.