Sandy Springs, GA — Rep. Lucy McBath joined Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03), Dusty Johnson (SD-At Large), David Trone (MD-06), Michael Guest (MS-03), Chris Pappas (NH-01), and John Joyce (PA-13) to introduce the bipartisan Campus Prevention and Recovery Services for Students Act. The proposed legislation will help higher education institutions implement programs to prevent alcohol and substance misuse on campus and support those with substance use disorders.

“Students deserve a safe place to learn and grow as they pursue their education, and we—federal lawmakers—can provide more resources to help the future of our country,” Rep. McBath said. “I’ve seen the heartbreaking effects of drug use on families at home in Georgia, and I’m proud to join in this bipartisan effort to address addiction, protect students, and fund these necessary programs.” 

“Substance use and addiction is an epidemic across our country and hits our families hard when we lose siblings, daughters, friends to overdose.  College students too often find themselves isolated and without the support network to help.  I don’t want to see another headline of a promising young person lost to overdose,” said Rep. Leger Fernández. “My bill will cut the chains of addiction and unlock access to treatment and prevention for countless students across the United States. This is bipartisan and this is a critical step to support young Americans – ensuring a healthy and safe campus environment.”

“Every single state has reported an increase in overdose deaths during the pandemic,” said Rep. Johnson. “The Campus Prevention and Recovery Services for Students Act ensures that students are not left behind in our fight against addiction. Our bipartisan bill is focused on evidence – and campus-based services – colleges need these resources now more than ever.” 

“The opioid crisis has ruthlessly swept through our nation targeting everyone in its path, including those on college campuses,” said Rep. Trone, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force. “Students and college presidents in my district are struggling to get the resources to address substance use disorder on their campuses, especially during the pandemic when many students are already grappling with mental health challenges. This bipartisan bill meets the moment to provide much-needed funding and help get our students the help they need.” 

“It is critical that we focus on ending substance misuse on college campuses. Evidence-based recovery programs provide those impacted by alcohol and drugs with a path to escape addiction, and this bill would bolster those efforts and services for students in the college setting,” Rep. Guest said. “It’s an honor to join Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández in introducing this impactful legislation.”

“This bipartisan legislation would bring evidence-based treatment to our colleges and universities to educate students on substance misuse and help those working to overcome substance use disorder,” said Rep. Pappas. “To combat this epidemic in our communities it’s essential that we pass this bill, invest in prevention efforts, and ensure students across New Hampshire receive the support they need to recover from substance use disorder.” 

“As a doctor, I am deeply troubled by the rising number of overdose deaths among our nation’s students. In recent years, lethal drugs—including fentanyl analogues—have taken a staggering toll on our communities. This legislation will allow schools 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 will lead our students to the help that they need,” said Rep. John Joyce.

The Campus Prevention and Recovery Services for Students Act:

  • Promotes evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies on college campuses.
  • Encourages integration and collaboration in campus-based health services to address substance use and mental health.
  • Requires the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services to identify and promote successful programs.
  • Revitalizes a grant program to help institutions implement programs.

Find full bill text HERE.

“We applaud this effort to help fund critical treatment and recovery services, along with peer support and training to help faculty, staff and students recognize and respond to those who are experiencing a mental health crisis or substance use challenge,” said Chuck Ingoglia, president and CEO of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. “Rates of mental health crises and substance use challenges among young adults have risen dramatically, and campus-based health centers need more resources to support the students who rely on them for care.”

“Young adults have a high rate of alcohol and substance misuse. The pandemic has heightened anxiety and depression among this age group, meaning many may turn to alcohol and drugs to cope. College campuses need evidence-based programs to prevent substance misuse and provide needed resources and support to students.” Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE, President and CEO of Trust for America’s Health.