12/08/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/08/2023 12:39
Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced the bipartisan Pregnant and Postpartum Women Treatment Reauthorization Act to reauthorize the grant residential treatment programs for pregnant and postpartum women (PPW) to receive residential treatment for substance use disorder. This legislation will authorize funding to enhance comprehensive substance use disorder (SUD) treatments, prevention and recovery support, parenting training, mental health counseling, and harm reduction interventions.
Drug overdose deaths, involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl, reached record highs in 2020 and 2021, with pregnant women experiencing more overdoses than ever before. The PPW program supports evidence-based parenting and treatment models to reduce substance use among pregnant women. Grant funds to PPW programs aim to ensure access to services for low-income women and combat maternal health disparities. The Pregnant and Postpartum Women Treatment Reauthorization Act will support public and non-profit entities that offer PPW programs. Last December, Senator Luján introduced the Improving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act 2.0.
"Improving the health of pregnant women facing substance use disorders is critical to creating positive outcomes for families and lasting health," said Senator Luján. "By reauthorizing these critical programs, pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorders can access the necessary tools to prevent health complications and treat substance use-including recovery and rehabilitation. I'm committed to improving families' health and safety in New Mexico and across the country."
"I've spoken at length of the devastating effects and reach of illicitly-trafficked fentanyl in this country, and its deadly impact on new and expecting mothers is yet another reason that seriously addressing this crisis must be our government's top national security priority," said Senator Tim Scott. "The harsh but heartbreaking truth is the number of skyrocketing fatalities of pregnant and postpartum women represents far more than mere statistics show - these are children left without mothers and families ripped apart. As we fight to secure our border and curb the flow of illicit drugs into this country, we have an obligation to provide essential resources for these new and expecting moms."
"The impact that addiction can have on West Virginia's mothers is devastating and puts the safety of our children at great risk. Resources need to be available for pregnant and postpartum women to receive the treatment or training they need to lead healthy lives, both for themselves and their families. The introduction of this bipartisan legislation is a positive step towards ensuring substance use disorder treatments remain available for mothers who are struggling with addiction," Senator Capito said.
"Residential treatment programs for pregnant and postpartum women struggling with substance use disorders are critical to improving health outcomes for new mothers and their babies," saidSenator Klobuchar. "This legislation will make it easier for families to access the resources they need to prevent and treat substance use disorders and encourage healthy families."
"I've heard the heartbreaking stories of countless families in North Carolina and across the country who have lost loved ones to substance use and overdoses," said Senator Tillis. "We owe it to future generations to address this unfolding crisis and save lives by increasing access to life-saving treatments, prevention and recovery support, and mental health counseling for pregnant and postpartum women struggling with substance use disorder. This legislation will take a positive step in ensuring all moms and babies benefit from comprehensive, family-centric recovery and support services."
"It is the mission of the Santa Fe Recovery Center Women & Children's Program to eliminate barriers and address these unique challenges with onsite, culturally appropriate care that supports women while providing Therapeutic Child Care to their children. As one of the only programs in the state of New Mexico that allows women to bring their children with them into treatment, and, if pregnant, receive specialized services and support to ensure a healthy delivery, the support from Federal, State and local grants and the ongoing support of Senator Ben Ray Lujan and the Legislative Committee for the Pregnant and Post-Partum Women Treatment Reauthorization Act has been paramount," said Santa Fe Recovery Center.
"On behalf of the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD), I am writing in support of the Pregnant and Postpartum Women Treatment Reauthorization Act. Thank you for introducing this important legislation. As a result, more pregnant and postpartum women have access to these comprehensive services in outpatient and intensive outpatient settings. Again, thank you for introducing the Pregnant and Postpartum Women Treatment Reauthorization Act. We believe this bill will continue to help more pregnant and postpartum women and their families gain access to comprehensive, family-centered substance use disorder services," said Robert I.L. Morrison, Executive Director, National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors.