Tipton Statement on Critical Opioid Abuse Legislation Moving to President’s Desk
WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) praised the passage of important legislation to combat opioid abuse. H.R. 5197, the Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO) in the Emergency Department Act, a bill Tipton helped introduced, passed out of the House as a part of the final House-Senate conference agreement on H.R. 6 (The SUPPORT Act). The SUPPORT Act, which passed with strong bipartisan support, is expected to be approved by the Senate and sent to the President’s desk.
“Too often the path to addiction begins in a place most people would not expect: a doctor’s office or hospital emergency room. The ALTO Act would address this specific issue by giving hospitals resources to promote non-opioid pain treatments in emergency rooms, helping to ensure people who do not need opioids are never exposed to them in the first place,” said Tipton. “Opioid abuse is a multifaceted issue and no one solution will fully solve the problem. We must implement a variety of solutions, and I commend my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for passing a package of bills, including the ALTO Act, that offers multiple innovative solutions to stem the worst drug epidemic our nation has ever experienced.”
The ALTO Act would establish a demonstration program to test alternative pain management protocols to limit the use of opioids in hospital emergency departments. It would also provide grant funding to implement these programs.
The Colorado Hospital Association has endorsed the ALTO Act. In 2017, the Association launched an ALTO pilot program in the state. Ten hospital emergency departments across Colorado took part and were able to decrease the use of narcotics by 31-46 percent across the program.
Colorado has the 12th highest rate of abuse of prescription opioids in the United States.
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