Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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Rep. Brooks joins colleagues to introduce bipartisan bill combating opioid epidemic

May 4, 2019
In The News

On Thursday, U.S. Representatives Susan W. Brooks (R-Ind.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) introduced bipartisan legislation, the Opioid Workforce Act of 2019, to train more doctors equipped to combat the opioid epidemic.

“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,” said Brooks. “This bipartisan bill will help provide more residency positions to hospitals that have programs focused on addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry or pain management. 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.”

H.R. 2439, the Opioid Workforce Act of 2019, would create 1,000 additional residency positions over five years to hospitals with addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry, or pain management programs.

This legislation to expand graduate medical education (GME) aims to alleviate the worsening physician shortage, which is anticipated to be as high as 121,000 physicians by 2032 according to a study by the Association of American of Medical Colleges. This shortage is particularly acute in the field of addiction medicine and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. This shortfall of doctors threatens to harm our efforts to reverse the opioid epidemic.

The Opioid Workforce Act is endorsed by Indiana University, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Greater New York Hospital Association, the American Hospital Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, and American College of Academic Addiction Medicine.