Rep. Crawford introduces opioid bill

Rep. Crawford introduces opioid bill

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A bill in Congress will help deal with the opioid abuse problems in the United States, especially in rural areas, Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro said Thursday.

Crawford said he has introduced a bill that would try to boost efforts to fight abuse and addiction in rural areas. Earlier this year, Region 8 News reported that the issue is big in Arkansas, with 116 painkiller prescriptions per 100 people in the state.

In a statement, Crawford said his bill has bipartisan support and has sponsors from other states like Illinois, Kansas and Pennsylvania. Those states have seen problems as well.

The bill would set aside money from the United States Department of Agriculture to fund substance abuse treatment, set aside USDA loans to focus on abuse and treatment, and allocate money from the USDA to help with education and outreach efforts.

Crawford said the issue is difficult for rural communities and that his bill would provide much-needed resources.

"This bipartisan legislation will ensure that folks in small towns have access to the health care, education and tools they need to combat the drug abuse and overdoses," Crawford said.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android