Steve Heap via shutterstock

The Senate this week overwhelmingly approved sweeping legislation to address the nation’s opioid crisis that now goes to President Trump for his signature.

The bill includes dozens of new policies and grant programs to combat the nation’s opioid crisis. It will strengthen efforts to keep illegal drugs from entering the United States at the border, will improve care for substance-exposed babies and their mothers, and will fund research grants to discover new non-addictive painkillers.

It also will expand programs for police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians to have a ready supply of Narcan available that can be used to treat narcotic overdoses that may otherwise lead to death.

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy voted for the bill. Murphy noted that the bill contains two of his proposals to address the issue. It would provide states with grants to ensure that individuals with substance use disorder have access to specifically trained coaches in recovery. And, it would ensure that children who spend time in the juvenile justice system continue to receive much-needed health care coverage and treatments immediately after their release from custody.

“This bill is a small but important step in the right direction, and I’m glad that two of my proposals were included, including the Recovery COACH Act based on Connecticut’s own program,” Murphy said.