Gardner Backed Opioid Legislation Signed Into Law

Washington, DC –Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) released the following statement regarding President Trump signing the bipartisan opioid package into law on Wednesday.

“The opioid epidemic has hurt so many communities, individuals, and families across Colorado,” said Senator Gardner. “The bipartisan legislation signed into law by the president is an important step in our continued work to combat this crisis. One piece of legislation isn’t going to stop the epidemic, but it’s going to make a positive difference in the lives being harmed. We must remain focused on advancing policies that prevent drug abuse, expand treatment, and support families.”

Included in the package was Senator Gardner’s legislation, the Alternatives to Opioids in the Emergency Department Act. This legislation establishes a three year demonstration program to test alternative pain management tools to reduce the amount of opioids being used in an emergency setting, and other acute care settings. Following the demonstration program, this legislation requires a report to congress with recommendations to establish pain management protocols to be spread across the country.

Additional Background:

Reduce Use and Supply

  • Includes the STOP Act to help stop illegal drugs at the border, including stopping the shipment of synthetic opioids
  • Improves sharing of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs data between states

Encourage Recovery

  • Supports states with competitive grants to address substance use disorders
  • Improves access to health professionals, long-distance care, and recovery housing services

Support Caregivers and Families

  • Improves plans of safe care and support for substance-exposed babies and their mothers
  • Increases family-focused treatment and recovery
  • Helps youth with substance use disorders enter recovery
  • Provides supports in schools and early childhood education programs

Drive Innovation and Long-Term Solutions

  • Spurs development of new non-addictive painkillers
  • Addresses economic and workforce impacts of the opioid crisis
  • Ensures parity in mental health and substance use disorder benefits



Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Budget Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.