Health Highlights: July 14, 2016

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

U.S. Senate Passes Bill to Fight Opioid Addiction Crisis

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a bill aimed at curbing the country’s growing opioid addiction crisis, sending it to President Barack Obama’s desk for signature.

The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, 92 to 2, according to The New York Times. The bill would bolster efforts at addiction prevention, treatment and recovery, giving health professionals and police more resources to fight the scourge.

Under the bill, addicts would also gain wider access to a drug that could help reverse opioid overdoses, the Times said.

This is “the first time that we’ve treated addiction like the disease that it is, which will help put an end to the stigma that has surrounded addiction for too long,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) told the newspaper.

Funding the bill remains an issue, however. Democrats advocated for immediate funding, but Senate Republicans said that funding would be addressed later this year in the appropriations process. Congress has only a short window this fall to send a spending bill to President Obama for signature, the Times noted.

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said that, without funding, the bill is meaningless.

“What it says is this: that colleagues on the other side of the aisle are more interested in showing voters they’re doing something about opioids than actually doing something,” he told the Times.

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