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National Restaurant Association - Industry supports plan to curb opioid epidemic

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Industry supports plan to curb opioid epidemic

Above: Ivanka Trump, left, and Delaware Restaurant Association CEO Carrie Leishman at the official signing of the Support Act on Oct. 24.

At an official ceremony today, President Trump signed the bipartisan “SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act”, legislation aimed at curbing the opioid crisis in America.

Passed by both houses of Congress, the legislation seeks to reduce the use and supply of opioid drugs by:

  • Stopping the entry of illegal synthetic substances, like fentanyl and carfentanil, into the country
  • Providing better drug-monitoring communication between states
  • Establishing comprehensive opioid recovery centers
  • Expanding access to substance-use disorder health professionals and medication-assisted treatment, and
  • Improving care and support for families and providing educational programs in schools.

Trump, who said the SUPPORT Act was “the single-largest bill to combat the drug crisis in this country,” applauded Congress for passing it. He added that addressing the opioid crisis is a top priority and that he has directed his Administration to “dedicate unprecedented resources toward diminishing the devastating toll it has inflicted on communities throughout our country.”

The President also said the bill would provide tools to stop “ultra-lethal drugs” from entering the country as well as expansion for support of addiction treatment.

“Together we will defeat this epidemic, as one family … one nation under God,” he asserted.

Dawn Sweeney, the National Restaurant Association’s president and CEO, said she and the Association appreciated the President’s commitment to addressing the opioid epidemic, and the House and Senate’s bipartisan work on the issue.

“Opioid abuse has ravaged local communities and families, and all stakeholders must be engaged to confront this national emergency,” she said. “We are pleased to see this landmark legislation signed into law.”

Opioid drug abuse plagues millions of Americans, including many who work in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Carrie Leishman, president and CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association, attended the bill signing ceremony as a national representative of the restaurant industry. Leishman and her Association introduced a Drug Awareness & Prevention program to help industry members fight drug abuse and addiction. She said the program, which went live Oct. 23, is designed to help small business owners and managers connect workers suffering from drug addiction to health-care professionals who can help them.

Drug overdose death is one of the country’s greatest public health crises, officials say. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2017 alone, about 72,000 people died of overdoses. Approximately 42,000 of them were opioid-related.

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