Today, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) announced their bipartisan, bicameral legislation to provide families with the tools they need to support their loved ones living with addiction. The Family Support Services for Addiction Act would provide $25 million in grant funding to help nonprofits and community organizations provide support services to families with loved ones seeking addiction treatment. The House version of this bill is led by Representatives David Trone (D-MD-6) and Daniel Meuser (R-PA-9).
“Equipping families with the resources they need to support loved ones battling addiction and substance use disorder is essential for recovery. Unfortunately, getting support can be difficult as people face stigma, a lack of insurance coverage, racial disparities, and an inability to pay for support services,” said Senator Gillibrand. “My Family Support Services for Addiction Act would deliver $25 million in vital funding for financially strained mental health care and substance use disorder support programs and ensure resources are available to families helping people recover from substance use.”
“The past few years have been tough on all of us, but especially for those in addiction treatment and recovery, as well as their families,” Senator Capito said. “This bipartisan legislation will hopefully provide family members with the support, resources, and information they need to assist both their loved ones struggling with substance use disorders and all within their family who are impacted by it.”
“My nephew, Ian, died of a fentanyl overdose after struggling for years with mental health and substance use disorders. I know full well how difficult it is for families to find accessible, affordable care – all while trying to get through the day,” said Congressman Trone, co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force. “The Family Support Services for Addiction Act recognizes the toll substance use disorder takes on families and equips them with the knowledge, guidance, and support to best help their loved ones suffering from this disease. We must never forget that we’re all in this fight together.”
“Obtaining services for those struggling with addiction and their loved ones shouldn’t compound an already difficult situation,” said Congressman Meuser. “The Family Support Services for Addiction Act will offer relief to families by providing federal aid to community organizations that assist in navigating insurance coverage, exploring treatment options and understanding how to get an individual on the path to recovery. After passing the House last Congress, I am eager to join Congressman Trone to introduce this important legislation again in the 118th Congress.”
“Addiction is a disease that affects the entire family and when family members are involved in their loved one’s care and recovery, outcomes are better. The Family Support Services for Addiction Act will create a grant program to support local organizations that provide services and supports to families impacted by addiction. In the midst of an unrelenting addiction crisis, it is critical to invest in families who are supporting a loved one struggling with addiction.” –Creighton Drury, CEO, Partnership to End Addiction
“Faces & Voices of Recovery fully supports the Family Support Services for Addiction Act. This legislation will provide much needed guidance and resources for families to navigate systems that are often confusing and challenging. To be as effective as possible, recovery from addiction requires a network of support. Families play a crucial role and by engaging families with recovery community networks we will build a stronger foundation for all our recovery efforts.” -Patty McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer, Faces & Voices of Recovery
Health care providers and hospitals across New York are still dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the number of patients needing treatment for substance use disorders continues to rise. According to the CDC, there were an estimated 107,622 drug overdose deaths in the United States during 2021, an increase of nearly 15% from the 93,655 estimated deaths in 2020. Even before the pandemic, families with individuals who have a substance use disorder often struggled to access basic support services. Even when services are offered, they often come at an additional cost. Fortunately, research shows that outcomes can improve when family members are involved in a loved one’s treatment. The Family Support Services for Addiction Act would establish a federal grant program to help nonprofits and community organizations offer support to families of individuals struggling with substance use disorder. This bill would also bolster national and local community programs that offer family support services by delivering $25 million in grants through the Department of Health and Human Services over five years. Family support services include caregiver peer support, education and training, systems navigation for families trying to access treatment and other resources, counseling services, support groups for those in crisis and for those who have lost loved ones, and skill-building.