Dec 13, 2023 | Press Releases

Nunn Bill to Save Lives from Opioid Overdoses Passes House

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives today passed Representatives Zach Nunn’s (IA-03) bipartisan bill, co-led with Representative Brittany Pettersen (CO-07), to save lives by strengthening programs designed to prevent opioid overdoses by a vote of 386 to 37. The Communities of Recovery Reauthorization Act would increase long-term recovery support for individuals with substance use disorders and associated mental health disorders by strengthening the Building Communities of Recovery program (BCOR), significantly increasing its ability to fund local community organizations or centers that champion the development, enhancement, expansion, and delivery of recovery support services. 

“Communities across the country continue to struggle with how to deal with the opioid epidemic. Too many Iowans know a family member or friend who is dealing with an addiction to opioids,” said Rep. Nunn. “We must do more to stop the flow of illegal drugs into this country, and we also need to help those suffering from addiction now. By passing this critical legislation, we will enhance support for community organizations that help people recover from addiction.” 

Fatal overdoses due to opioids are on the rise. In 2021, drug overdose deaths exceeded homicides by more than 300%. Each day, more than 150 people die from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. In 2021, there were 398 deaths due to overdose in Iowa.  

BCOR is a grant program administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that provides support to nonprofit recovery community organizations or centers that: 

  • Offer peer recovery support services designed and delivered by individuals with personal experience in addiction and recovery 
  • Deliver recovery support services that directly assist individuals and families to recover from alcohol or drug dependency 
  • Collaborate with current regional and local harm reduction community partner efforts that will encompass harm reduction 

The bipartisan Communities of Recovery Reauthorization Act would more than triple funding for the BCOR program to $16,000,000 annually through 2028. 

The bill, which was originally introduced on June 16, 2023, passed the House of Representatives as part of the Support for Patients and Communities Reauthorization Act. The legislation now awaits consideration by the Senate. 

Text of the bill can be found here