Public Policy newsletter – October 2020

October 2020
Policy Update
As we approach the last quarter of the calendar, time is becoming short to pass certain bills into law.
Faces & Voices is doing everything they can
to lay a solid foundation for 2021. 
As always, we encourage you to reach out to your representatives on issues that matter to you.

On the Hill…

Relief Packages

As Congress continues to work towards another COVID stimulus package, the House of Representatives seems to have abandoned the HEROES act, which they passed in May. This bill proposed $4.5 billion for SAMHSA, including $1.5 billion for the SAPT block grant. The House went back to the drawing board in September, in an effort to produce a bill that would garner support in the Senate. In the most recent iteration of the stimulus bill, SAMHSA is slated to receive $8.5 billion, with $3.5 billion going to the SAPT block grant.

What that means…

While Faces & Voices advocated that $50 million be dedicated solely to recovery support services, the legislation did not include this provision. With a potential $3.5 billion being distributed via block grant (if the bill passes and the appropriations committee agrees to the outlay) Faces & Voices is hopeful that the states will allocate some of this funding to recovery support.

In Action…

National Recovery Month Funding

Due to Faces & Voices recent inheritance of National Recovery Month, F&V has turned to Congress for assistance. SAMHSA never had a specific budget for recovery month, and its involvement in the effort was always discretionary. Representative Trone (D-MD) has drafted legislation that will change this. He proposes a $1 million budget for Recovery Month for the next three years. Faces & Voices plans to support this legislation, and will work towards passage, as well as on securing the necessary funds during the appropriations process.

H.R. 5572

During the first week of October, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan bill, H.R. 5572, the Family Support Services for Addiction Act. The legislation would create a $25 million grant program over five years to help national and local nonprofit organizations provide services for families impacted by addiction.

While the future of the legislation in the Senate is unclear, Faces & Voices has advocated for passage of this legislation since its inception and has partnered with the Partnership to End Addiction in this effort. Representative Trone recognized Faces & Voices as an original supporter of the legislation in his press release which announced the passage of the legislation.

View Press Release Here

Call to Action:
Abuse is a four-letter word

Faces & Voices of Recovery and the Recovery Research Institute of Harvard Medical School & Massachusetts General Hospital have joined together in creating a petition to end the use of the term “Abuse” in the names of governmental agencies which use the outdated term.

Words and language matter and stigma has been identified as a barrier to treatment and recovery among individuals with addiction. Terms such as “abuse,” increase stigma and add additional harm to those seeking – as well as those in – recovery.

Now is the time to tell Congress that national government agencies with words like “abuse” must undergo a NAME CHANGE (e.g., National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA], National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [NIAAA]), and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA].

Please take a moment to share and sign the petition, and together we can change the conversation and help the Recovery Community.

Sign here!