Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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Brooks supports bill to train more doctors in treating opioid-addicted patients

May 6, 2019
In The News

U.S. Rep Susan Brooks (R-IN) on May 1 introduced bipartisan legislation that would authorize more medical residency positions across the country to help combat the ongoing opioid crisis.

Rep. Brooks is an original cosponsor of the Opioid Workforce Act of 2019, H.R. 2439, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), which would “increase the otherwise applicable resident limit for each qualifying hospital” through 2025, according to the text of the bill.

“In order to combat the devastating opioid, heroin and fentanyl epidemic that continues to plague communities across our country, a critically important piece of the puzzle is to ensure we have more trained professionals, particularly physicians, who can prevent and treat addiction and substance abuse disorder,” Rep. Brooks said last week.

If enacted, H.R. 2439 would create 1,000 additional residency positions over five years to hospitals with addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry, or pain management programs, the congresswoman said.

“The opioid crisis will not stop taking innocent lives overnight, but without more trained doctors ready to help people who are struggling because of substance abuse, drug and opioid-related overdose deaths will continue to claim more lives in Indiana and beyond,” she said.

H.R. 2439 has garnered the support of Indiana University, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Greater New York Hospital Association, the American Hospital Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, and the American College of Academic Addiction Medicine.

The bill also would help alleviate the nation’s worsening physician shortage, said Rep. Brooks, which AAMC reports could increase up to 121,000 physicians by 2032, particularly in the field of addiction medicine and substance use disorder treatment.