Rep. Clark’s Bill Would Help Fight Opioids in Underserved Areas

The U.S. House of Representatives last Tuesday unanimously passed a bill co-sponsored by Massachusetts Representative Katherine Clark (D) and Hal Rogers (R-Ken.) that offers student loan repayment of up to $250,000 for graduates who agree to work as a substance use disorder treatment professionals in areas most in need of their services.

“Today, Congress took a major step forward in our fight to combat the opioid crisis,” said Clark. “Every new treatment professional we invest in could mean survival for someone’s child, parent, sibling, or friend who may not have had access to treatment otherwise. Communities across the nation are calling on us for solutions and this legislation provides the support needed to facilitate their recovery and health.”

To qualify for the program, participants must agree to be employed in a full-time substance use disorder treatment position in a high-need area for up to six years. That job must involve serving in a direct patient care role and can include serving as a physician, registered nurse, nurse practitioner, social worker, recovery coach, or any other role listed in the bill (H.R. 5102).  The bill now moves to the Senate along with other opioid-related legislation the House focused on last week.