Brooks introduces proposal to continue funding for Poison Center Network
U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) continues to fight the nation’s opioid crisis and on Jan. 11 introduced bipartisan legislation that would improve the national Poison Center Network.
“It is important we reauthorize the national network of poison control centers because they save lives by offering free, confidential, and expert medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Rep. Brooks said on Jan. 14.
The Poison Center Network Enhancement Act of 2019, H.R. 501, would reauthorize federal funds to help enhance the national toll-free number (800) 222-1222, media campaign and grant program supporting the network’s 55 poison control centers, among other purposes. U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) sponsored H.R. 501.
“On behalf of the 1,852 Hoosiers who died of an opioid overdose in 2017, I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce this bill because poison control centers are essential to combatting the deadly opioid crisis,” said Rep. Brooks, who is among three cosponsors of H.R. 501.
Poison control centers help prevent toxic exposure and poisoning injury and deaths, including opioid and other drug overdoses, according to Brooks’ statement, which noted that H.R. 501 also would clarify that poison control centers may be called upon to assist with public health emergencies, responses and preparedness.
Additionally, H.R. 501 would request that enhanced communications capabilities like texting be established, according to the congresswoman.
Rep. Engel pointed out that H.R. 501 “shows an ongoing bipartisan commitment to continuing support for the nation’s poison control centers that millions of Americans rely on every year.”
“I am proud that we were able to introduce it so early in the 116th Congress,” Rep. Engel added.
H.R. 501 has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.