Barr Votes for Historic, Bipartisan Opioid Package to Fight Epidemic in Kentucky

Legislation includes Congressman Barr's bill to expand transitional housing, similar to many models in Kentucky's Sixth District

October 1, 2018

As Kentucky continues to suffer from the third highest opioidoverdose mortality rate in the nation, Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) voted Friday for the most significant Congressional action against a drug crisis in history. With overwhelming bipartisan support, H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes OpioidRecovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, will bolster our communities’ efforts to advance prevention, treatment and recovery initiatives for individuals and families struggling with addiction and substance abuse.

This historic package includes Congressman Barr’s legislation, the CAREER Act, which empowers individuals to rise above addiction by transitioning back into the workforce through stable transitional housing and job training.

“In 2016, more than 1,400 Kentuckians died of an opioid overdose and we owe it to these families to provide the resources needed to combat this heartbreaking crisis that is devastating communities throughout the Commonwealth,” said Congressman Barr. “On behalf of all these Kentucky families, I was proud to support this legislation as it marks a critical investment to better protect our communities through new prevention, treatment and recovery initiatives to ultimately fight the trafficking and use of illicit drugs in Kentucky’s Sixth District.”


Congressman Barr’s CAREER Act address the decline in workforce participation as a result of the opioid epidemic by encouraging local businesses and treatment centers to form partnerships to secure job training, employment, and housing options for individuals in recovery. Additionally, this legislation gives states more flexibility to direct federal funds to specific and local initiatives.

H.R. 6 strengthens our communities’ treatment, recovery and prevention efforts to better protect our communities for the deadly impacts of opioid and substance abuse.

Treatment and Recovery:

Improves and expands access to treatment and recovery services
Provides incentives for enhanced care, coordination and innovation
Establishes comprehensive opioid recovery centers


Encourages non-addictive opioid alternatives to treat pain
Improves data to identify and help at-risk patients and families
Addresses high prescribing rates while enhancing prescription drug monitoring programs

Protecting Communities and Fighting Fentanyl:

Gives law enforcement tools to get dangerous drugs out of our communities
Better intercepts illicit opioids at international mail facilities
Improves access to federal resources for our local communities

For a section-by-section summary of H.R. 6, click here.

Following the passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21stCentury Cures Act last Congress, the 2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act included a $4 billion investment earlier this year to combat the opioid epidemic. More recently, Congress appropriated $6.7 billion to boost programs that fight and treat substance abuse and support mental health services.

Click here to view video of Congressman Barr’s remarks in support of H.R. 6 during debate on the floor of the House.

After Senate approval, the final SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act will be sent to the President’s desk for signature.