Henrico Citizen: Spanberger introduces bill to create funding stream for addiction recovery

HENRICO CITIZEN

U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-7th District) recently introduced a bill that would create permanent federal funding for addiction recovery services, allow states and recovery organizations to build long-term strategies to prevent drug overdose deaths, and help individuals in recovery from addiction rebuild their lives.

Spanberger said she introduced the bill in response to the concerns of Central Virginia community leaders, law enforcement officials, addiction recovery organizations, and healthcare providers — all of whom have sounded the alarm about rising rates of overdose deaths in the state. In 2020, Virginia reported a record number of drug overdose deaths — including a 47 percent increase in the number of opioid related deaths from 2019 to 2020.

Spanberger introduced the legislation alongside U.S. Representative David B. McKinley of West Virginia, who said, “This bill is one more tool to use in the fight against substance abuse and addiction. By establishing a consistent, predictable, and dedicated source of funding, programs can have more confidence in their ability to continue providing recovery support for those that need it.”

The Support Recovery from Addiction Act would create a permanent 10 percent set-aside within the Substance Abuse Block Grant program for recovery support services. The set-aside would require states to spend a portion of their SABG funding on recovery programs with a record of success and peer support specialist programs that help Virginians stay sober. People without insurance or whose insurance does not cover certain services rely on these SABG funds to access treatment and recovery services.

“The McShin Foundation is grateful that Rep. Spanberger is working on this bipartisan effort that acknowledges and supports recovery as one of the primary solutions to the substance use disorder epidemic,” said John Shinholser, co-founder and president of The McShin Foundation. “Community-based, non-governmental organizations are a crucial link to long-term recovery.”

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