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April 02, 2024

Schweikert Introduces Bill Fast-Tracking Drug Addiction Treatment Developments

Drug addiction remains a scourge in America and Arizona specifically, with thousands dying of overdoses every year. The ongoing border crisis only worsens the effects, as many smugglers take advantage of the open border. However, breakthroughs in treating addiction and preventing overdoses have shown promise, and Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ) has introduced a bill expediting their development through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Named the Substance Therapy Designation Act, Rep. Schweikert’s bill would capitalize on recent developments in treating alcoholism and addiction to cocaine, methamphetamine, and opioids, offering grants for further experimentation and fast-tracking their approval.

For instance, Rep. Schweikert cited successful tests in a vaccine that counters the effects of the notoriously deadly fentanyl undergoing trials in Houston, Texas, while a similar vaccine combatting cocaine addiction in Brazil has received additional attention.

The Arizona Congressman’s bill comes at a time when Arizona has suffered heavily at the hands of the drug crisis owing to its border state status, with statistics showing over $2.2 billion was spent by the state for opioid-related hospitalizations in 2022, and Maricopa County saw an average of three deaths per day from overdoses that same year.

In his press release, Schweikert said, “In the month of March alone, United States Border Patrol has seized almost 15,000 pounds of controlled substances. With the Substance Therapy Designation Act, I hope to be able to save more children that are falling victim to the continuing influx of these illicit drugs. This bill speaks to my continuing fixation of making our brothers and sisters healthier, while at the same time, promoting the safety and treatment from these addictive substances.”

Cactus Politics had spoken with Schweikert on the state of American health earlier in March, where he told us that “technology and incentives” would be the necessary contributions from the government to encourage Americans to lead healthier lives, and this new bill of his reflects his conviction.

Moreover, Schweikert is not the only Congressman concerned with the effects of the drug crisis, as Florida’s Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) recently celebrated his END FENTANYL Act becoming law near the end of March.

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