DOD Overdose Data Act introduced in Congress

Legislation to address impacts of the opioid epidemic among members of the U.S. military and their families has been introduced in Congress. The bill would require the Defense Department to report annually on fatal and non-fatal overdoses and to expand access to overdose prevention tools, including naloxone.

The bill also calls for development of a new standard for distribution of naloxone or other medication for overdose reversal, opioid disposal materials, fentanyl test strips, and other materials to prevent or reduce overdose, substance abuse disorder, or other impacts of substance use.

Bipartisan supporters of the legislation included Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Edward J. Markey, D-Mass; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass; and Mike Braun, R-Ind; plus Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Mass; and Nancy Mace, R-SC.
“Tragically, the impacts of fentanyl and the opioid crisis are felt across the country, including among the military community. Fully understanding the extent of this epidemic is important to how we approach the solutions, including how we provide support for military members struggling with substance misuse,” said Murkowski. “I’ve long supported improving access to overdose prevention tools like naloxone, and this bipartisan effort to collect strong data will help improve efforts to address the opioid crisis, ultimately saving lives.” 
“The opioid epidemic is reaching every community across our country, including military bases,” said Markey.“One service member whose life is lost because they couldn’t get the help they need is unacceptable, yet in recent years, hundreds of service members have suffered a fatal overdose, and thousands more nearly did. The information we received from the Department of Defense is a call to action to address this epidemic’s impact on service members and their families and to institute systemic reform to prevent overdose, improve access to treatment, and reduce the stigma of asking for help.”