The U.S. House on Wednesday approved the 21st Century Cures Act, which includes $1 billion in new funding for the prevention and treatment of opioid addiction.
The bill will now go to the Senate, where it is expected to pass by next week, USA Today reports.
The White House, in a statement supporting passage of the measure, said, “The resources included in the bill will allow states to expand access to treatment to help individuals seeking help to find it and to start the road to recovery, with preference given to states with an incidence or prevalence of opioid use disorders that is substantially higher relative to other states.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is recommending that pediatricians consider offering medication-assisted treatment, such as buprenorphine, for teen and young adult patients with severe opioid use disorders, USA Today reports.
Pediatricians who do not prescribe the drugs themselves should refer patients to doctors who do, the group advises.
According to the AAP, between 1991 and 2012, the rate of “nonmedical use” (use without a prescription or more than prescribed) of opioid medication by teens and young adults up to age 25 more than doubled.
The rate of opioid use disorders, including heroin addiction, also jumped. The rate of fatal opioid overdose more than doubled between 2000 and 2013.