Congressman John Sarbanes

Representing the 3rd District of Maryland

Sarbanes’ Bill Expanding Access to Opioid Addiction Treatment Programs Passes Unanimously Through House Energy and Commerce Committee

Bipartisan Effort Would Help Grow Treatment Workforce by Offering Student Loan Forgiveness to Substance Use Disorder Professionals Who Work in the Field and Serve Communities in Need
May 9, 2018
Contact: Daniel Jacobs
(202) 225-4016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today announced that the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act (H.R. 5102) was voted favorably out of the full House Energy and Commerce Committee. The bipartisan bill aims to recruit and retain more addiction treatment professionals around the country by offering to relieve student loan debt for individuals who work in the substance use disorder field.

“Today, we took an important step forward to combat the opioid crisis by advancing new and creative ways to expand addiction treatment programs in communities across the country,” said Congressman Sarbanes, who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Subcommittee on Health. “By encouraging more health care professionals to pursue careers in substance use disorder treatment, we can increase the number of programs that are available to individuals and families suffering from this epidemic.”

To qualify for up to $250,000 in student loan forgiveness, health care professionals must be employed full-time – for up to 6 years – in direct patient care at opioid addiction programs. This includes physicians, registered nurses, social workers, recovery coaches and many other roles related to substance use disorder treatment. Participants can serve in a wide range of treatment facilities, as long as they are located in an area with a shortage of mental health professionals or a high rate of overdose deaths.

For more information about the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act, see here.