WASHINGTON, December 7, 2016 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement on the 21st Century Cures Act, passed by the Senate today:
"On behalf of all of the families across rural America affected by the heroin and opioid epidemic, I am grateful that Congress has answered President Obama's call to provide much-needed funding to combat this crisis that is devastating our rural communities. The 21st Century Cures Act includes $1 billion over two years, including $500 million in 2017, to prevent opioid misuse and expand access to treatment for individuals with drug misuse disorders. These additional resources are particularly critical in rural areas, where rates of opioid misuse and overdose are high, access to treatment is limited, and patients who seek treatment are often met with waitlists that can mean the difference between life and death. Having met with families across the country that have been impacted by the effects of the epidemic, and having experienced addiction firsthand in my own family, I know how important it is to provide people a second chance and an opportunity to get on the path to recovery."
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