May 11, 2022

Cassidy Statement on Record Number of Drug Overdose Deaths in 2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) released a statement regarding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that more than 107,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2021.

“We have a drug crisis in this country. Mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, sisters, and brothers gone too soon because of drug overdoses,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We must be relentless in our response to fight the drug epidemic and prevent further loss.”

This week, Sens. Cassidy and Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced the Mental Health Reform Reauthorization Act of 2022 to reauthorize the historic federal mental health and substance use disorder programs that were signed into law in 2016 as part of their Mental Health Reform Act before they are set to expire in September. The legislation: 

  • authorizes $25 million to support states’ ability to enforce existing laws around mental health and substance use disorder parity.
  • requires Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to coordinate with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to promote coverage of evidence-based services, improve quality of care, and identify opportunities for collaboration between State Medicaid agencies and State mental health and substance use disorder agencies.
  • reauthorizes a SAMHSA program that helps people with mental illness and/or substance use disorders who interact with the criminal justice system get access to necessary treatment, reducing the likelihood of incarceration and recidivism, for 5 years through 2027 at $6.2 million per year.