Washington, DC - Today, Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06) joined Rep. David Trone (MD-06) in introducing the Campus Prevention and Recovery Services for Students Act of 2019, a bill that would help institutions of higher education implement evidence-based programs to prevent alcohol and substance misuse on campus and support those with substance use disorders (SUDs). Reps. Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Chris Pappas (D-NH), John Joyce (R-PA), and Michael Guest (R-MS) also joined in introducing the bill.
The bill also promotes collaboration between institutions and the state agencies that administer related programs targeting SUD and encourages integration in campus-based health services between primary care, SUD services, and mental health services.
“The opioid crisis has ruthlessly swept through our nation targeting everyone in its path, including those on college campuses,” said Trone, founder of the Freshmen Working Group on Addiction. “I heard from students and college presidents in my district that they needed more resources to address how drugs and alcohol impact their campuses. This bipartisan bill will provide much-needed resources to institutions in order to address this gap.”
“Students deserve a safe place to learn and grow,” McBath said. “I’ve seen the heartbreaking effects of drug use on families at home in Georgia, and it’s our duty as lawmakers to provide resources to help the future of our country. I’m proud to join in this bipartisan effort to address the devastating effects of addiction, protect students, and fund these necessary programs.”
“The Campus Prevention and Recovery Services for Students Act ensures that students are not left behind in our bipartisan fight against the opioid epidemic,” said Johnson. “Prevention efforts should be collaborative and evidence-based. This bill will accomplish that goal, providing greater safety to our students and our communities."
“If we hope to combat the opioid epidemic in a meaningful way, it is essential we provide our colleges and universities the resources they need to educate students on substance misuse and help those working to overcome addiction,” said Pappas. “The Campus Prevention and Recovery Services for Students Act takes a critical step in supporting students and curbing addiction by creating a safe environment in which they can learn and grow.”
“As a physician, I realize that there is not a community in the country that has not been impacted by the drug epidemic we are currently facing,” said Joyce. “Unfortunately, due to students not grasping the full dangers of drug use, many addictions begin on college campuses. This legislation will allow our institutions of higher education to implement result oriented programs to stem the tide of substance misuse by students. It will provide for improved drug education programs, recovery services, counseling and re-entry assistance that many schools lack. Doing everything possible to protect our children from substance use disorders should not be a partisan issue and I urge the leaders in the House to take up this critical bill.”
“This legislation would help reinforce our colleges and universities as institutions that prioritize the well-being of students and prevent substance use disorder,” said Guest. “Across our country, young adults on campuses are battling against the threat of addiction, so I am proud to use my position in this group to support a bill that encourages protecting our students from the potential consequences of substance use disorder.”
“The American Psychological Association endorses the Campus Prevention and Recovery Services for Students Act,” said Dr. Arthur C. Evans, Jr., CEO of the American Psychological Association Services, Inc. “In addressing the opioid epidemic, a major task ahead of us is ensuring that our nation's students have access to evidence-based treatment and prevention services on college campuses. If enacted, this legislation will improve services at institutions of higher education, ensuring students struggling with substance use disorders have access to the appropriate services they need in order to complete their education.”
“Young adults are at particular risk for experiencing mental health and addiction issues, yet far too often institutions of higher education lack the resources to support them,” said Chuck Ingoglia, President and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health. “We applaud this effort to open up funding for critical treatment and recovery services, along with peer supports and training to help faculty, staff and students recognize and respond to those who are in distress. This grant program is sorely needed and will contribute to better mental health and wellness on campuses across the country.”
“The prevention of substance abuse on college and university campuses remains a shared priority across functional areas within student affairs,” said Kevin Kruger, President of NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. “In order to better foster student success, our members must be empowered to use evidence and remove barriers associated with addiction and substance abuse for individual students and their campus environments.”
“The surge in opioid deaths nationally has reached crisis proportions and the impact on Generation Xers and Millennials has been particularly devastating,” said John Auerbach, President and CEO of Trust for America’s Health. “We need to provide prevention and treatment services for these young adults where they are. The Campus Prevention and Recovery Services Act of 2019 with its focus on evidence-based and campus-based services will be an important piece of a national strategy to stem the tide of these tragic drug deaths.”
“The American College Health Association looks forward to working with Congressman Trone colleagues to secure bipartisan support for the Campus Prevention and Recovery Services for Students Act,” said Devin Jopp, CEO of the American College Health Association (ACHA). “Enactment of this legislation will make an important contribution to efforts to combat drug and alcohol misuse on college campuses.”
"The addiction crisis has had significant impacts in communities across the country, and college campuses are not immune", says Tim Rabolt, Executive Director of the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE). "Providing the funding and infrastructure to adequately support students in recovery is a critical solution that needs to be embraced nationally. The Association of Recovery in Higher Education commends Congressman David Trone and all forthcoming cosponsors for reintroducing the Campus Prevention and Recovery Services for Students Act. We are in full support of this bill and the support it would ultimately provide for students in recovery for years to come."
"Ultimately, collegiate recovery is in the business of saving, sustaining, and enhancing recovering students’ lives,” said Blake Schneider, ARHE Advocacy Committee Chair and Board Member. “As ARHE Advocacy Committee Chair, working in tandem with legislation as such would help fulfill this endless mission."
Learn more about the Campus Prevention and Recovery Services for Students Act of 2019 here.
Read the bill text here.