Sarbanes’ Opioid Addiction Treatment Bill Passes U.S. House of Representatives
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act (H.R. 5102), a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Congressman Sarbanes that would help recruit and retain more addiction treatment workers around the country by offering student loan debt relief for physicians, nurses, social workers, recovery coaches and other professionals who work in the substance use disorder field.
“To fight the opioid epidemic and help our communities overcome this serious crisis, we must use every tool at our disposal,” said Congressman Sarbanes, who helped shepherd the bill through the House Energy and Commerce Committee last month. “This bill will provide a key incentive – in the form of student loan debt relief – to address the shortage of substance use disorder professionals and increase the number of treatment programs around the country. With more programs in place, we can expand access to addiction treatment and help provide critical resources and solutions for individuals who are suffering from this crisis.”
Under the bill, health care professionals can qualify for up to $250,000 in student loan forgiveness if they are 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.