On Thursday, February 6, 2020, Congressmen Greg Murphy, M.D. (NC-03) and Collin Peterson (MN-07) introduced H.R. 5774, the Veterans Heroin Overdose Prevention Examination (HOPE) Act.
Between 2010 and 2016, deaths due to opioid overdose rose by 65 percent among veterans. During those same years, veteran deaths caused by heroin nearly quintupled and deaths caused by synthetic opioids like fentanyl increased by more than five-fold. Meanwhile, the rate of prescription opioid receipts within three months before death declined by more than 25 percent, suggesting that opioid overdoses are likely stemming from hard or synthetic drugs, without knowledge of the initial prescriber.
To combat this issue, the Veterans HOPE Act would direct the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to further investigate deaths caused by heroin and synthetic opioids. Upon conclusion of the study, the Secretary would report findings to the public and Congress and suggest veteran overdose prevention efforts to save lives.
"As a member of the North Carolina State Assembly, authoring the main legislative actions to combat the opioid crisis in North Carolina was one of my proudest achievements. Now as the U.S. Representative of a Congressional District with the fifth most veterans in America, the Veterans HOPE Act is especially important research to me,"
"The data speaks for itself-veteran deaths caused by non-prescribed opioids like heroin and fentanyl have skyrocketed. But our veterans are more than a statistic. They are sons and daughters, husbands and wives, and fathers and mothers who have selflessly sacrificed so much for our great nation. It is our duty to do all we can to protect them from the dangers of opioid addiction,"
"There's been a tremendous increase in opioid overdose deaths among veterans, and it's clear that we need to do more to prevent this tragedy. We need to find and provide appropriate care for veterans who need help, and this study is a step towards that,"
The bill text can be found HERE
- Michael Mead
- Communications Director
- Congressman Greg Murphy, M.D. (NC-03)
- Ph: (202) 225-3415