Skip to content

Alexander: New Law Gives Tennessee Boost on Front Lines of Opioid Epidemic

President signs bill into law that will help Tennessee’s fight against the opioid epidemic which kills more Tennesseans than car accidents or gunshots

WASHINGTON, July 25 — Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said bipartisan opioids legislation signed into law by President Obama will provide a “substantial boost to states like Tennessee, which are on the front lines of our nation’s opioid epidemic.”

“Each year, more than 1,000 Tennesseans die from opioid abuse or overdose—this is an epidemic taking more Tennessee lives than car accidents or gunshots do. The way to fight this epidemic is not to wage a distant battle from Washington but for Washington to support those who are fighting on the front lines. That battle is being fought state by state, county by county, doctor’s office by doctor’s office,” said Senator Alexander. “This law will provide a substantial boost in this ongoing battle. Today is a landmark victory for those Tennesseans who are on the front lines.”

Alexander was one of seven Senate conferees who worked with the House conferees on the legislation signed into law by the President. He has also noted on the Senate floor that Senate has also boosted opioid funding 542% over the past three years.

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act sponsored by Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and signed into law by the President will:

  • Support education, prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts to address the opioid abuse crisis and help individuals with an opioid use disorder get and stay well;
  • Provide grants to expand access to life-saving opioid overdose reversal medications and support veterans and law enforcement; and
  • Provide grants to states to carry out a comprehensive response to the opioid abuse crisis, including education, prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts.


For access to this release and Chairman Alexander’s other statements, click here.