Senator Cornyn

Cornyn Substance Abuse Prevention Legislation Signed Into Law

October 24, 2018

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement after his bipartisan bill to reauthorize drug abuse programs, the Substance Abuse Prevention Act, was signed into law as a part of legislation to combat the opioid crisis:

“The opioid crisis has cut short tens of thousands of lives and broken countless families,” Sen. Cornyn said. “With the Substance Abuse Prevention Act signed into law, we can better support law enforcement and healthcare agencies tasked with reducing demand and helping those in rehabilitation. I applaud the President for signing it and Congress for working together because no state has been spared by this epidemic.”


The Substance Abuse Prevention Act was originally introduced by Senators Cornyn and Feinstein to reauthorize critical programs to reduce demand for narcotics, provide assistance to various agencies so they can better combat opioid addiction, and support those recovering from substance use disorders.

Office of National Drug Control Policy: Reauthorizes the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) at the White House, which oversees Executive Branch efforts on narcotics control and ensures efforts complement and strengthen state and local anti-drug activates.

Drug Abuse Prevention Programs: Reauthorizes several important programs under the ONDCP including the Drug-Free Communities Program and the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program and allows the ONDCP Director to participate in and expand opioid and heroin awareness campaigns which were authorized under the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA).

Drug Courts: Reauthorizes Department of Justice funding for drug courts, which provide targeted interventions for individuals with drug addiction and substance use disorders and allows non-profit organizations to provide important training and technical assistance to drug courts.

Better Substance Abuse Treatment: Directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study on reimbursements for substance use disorder services and make recommendations in order to bring parity to and improve reimbursements.
Educating Prescribers: Requires Attorney General and HHS Secretary to complete a plan for educating and training medical practitioners in best practices for prescribing controlled substances.

Supporting Education and Awareness: Allows the Attorney General to make grants available to entities that focus on substance use disorders and specialize in family and patient services.

Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams: Authorizes the Director of ONDCP in coordination with SAMHSA to provide grants to establish Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) to determine the effectiveness of pairing social workers and mentors with families that are struggling with substance use disorder and child abuse or neglect.

The following groups supported the Substance Abuse Prevention Act: the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the Addiction Policy Forum, the National Association for Children of Addiction (NACoA), the Moyer Foundation, the National Council for Behavioral Health, the National District Attorneys Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the National HIDTA Directors Association, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the National Criminal Justice Association, the National Association of Police Organizations, and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.