Brindisi Introduces Bipartisan Resolution to Stop the Stigma and Recognize Addiction as A Disease


November 19, 2019
Press Release

As Part of the Congressman’s Ongoing Efforts to Combat the Opioid Crisis, Brindisi Champions Public Health Resolution 

Brindisi: Our Communities Have Suffered Enough; We Need Responsible Treatment and Enforcement to Combat Addiction 

Congressmen Anthony Brindisi and Republican Congressman Ted Budd (NC-13) introduced a bipartisan resolution officially recognizing addiction as a treatable disease. Brindisi, an advocate for mental health care and ardent fighter of the opioid crisis, worked with medical professionals and advocacy groups to introduce this bipartisan measure.

“Our communities have seen too many families torn apart by addiction through the opioid crisis, fentanyl entering our communities, and other substance abuse,” Brindisi said. “We need to work together to ensure appropriate treatment for these people who are afflicted with addiction. In order to tackle this crisis, we need to destigmatize treatment, increase  science-based approaches, and make sure communities have the education tools necessary to help addicts and their families. This resolution, and other bipartisan work I am leading in Congress, will help do just that.”

Brindisi’s resolution is supported by leading medical and advocacy groups.

“The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) applauds Congressional leaders for recognizing addiction as a chronic, treatable medical disease and for resolving to ensure that high-quality, evidence-based addiction treatment is available to all Americans who need it,” said Paul H. Earley, MD, DFASAM, president of ASAM. “Public acknowledgement by our nation’s policy leaders is important to ongoing efforts to destigmatize addiction, address this disease compassionately and effectively, and save lives.”

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2017, 19.7 million Americans suffered with a substance use disorder.  Congress must do more to deliver help to the American people. This resolution is an important step in acknowledging addiction as a treatable, chronic medical disease, which will open up new, more effective avenues for prevention, treatment, remission, and recovery.

Brindisi’s resolution would:

  • Recognize addiction as a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences.
  • Support evidence-based treatment approaches for substance use disorder that address the biological, psychological, and social aspects of the disorder.
  • Support efforts to prevent and destigmatize substance use disorder and addiction.

New York’s 22nd congressional district has been devastated by the opioid crisis and the fentanyl crisis. Just this month, Oneida County issued an overdose alert following four deaths in nearly two weeks. Brindisi helped successfully included the Fentanyl Sanctions Act in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act. Additionally, Brindisi introduced legislation to increase access to care and destigmatize mental health in rural communities.

Brindisi’s resolution is supported by prominent advocacy groups: AIDS United, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Medical Toxicology, American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine, American Psychological Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing), Association of American Medical Colleges, Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness, Center on Addiction, Faces & Voices of Recovery, National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, National Council for Behavioral Health, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, National Safety Council, The Pew Charitable Trusts, SMART Recovery, Shatterproof, Society of Physician Assistants in Addiction Medicine, and Young People in Recovery.

Text of Brindisi’s resolution can be found HERE.