Press Releases

Congresswoman Wexton Introduces EFFORT Act to Expand Research on Opioid Addiction

Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) and Congressman Jim Baird (R-IN) introduced H.R. 3153, the Expanding Findings for Federal Opioid Research and Treatment (EFFORT) Act. This legislation would direct the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support research on opioid addiction. 

“The opioid epidemic has taken a heartbreaking toll on families across America,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “Addiction is an illness, and treating it effectively requires adequate research and funding. By expanding this research, we hope to equip health professionals with new tools to stop the cycle of addiction. I’m extremely proud of this bipartisan effort and look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to pass this important legislation.”

“The opioid crisis has tragically destroyed the lives of many Hoosiers,” said Congressman Baird. “This epidemic does not discriminate and continued research is crucial for preventing addiction before it begins. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but we must use evidence-based policy to ensure the health and well-being of current and future generations.”

The EFFORT Act directs the NSF, in consultation with the National Institutes of Health, to support research focused on opioid addiction, allowing for further understanding of how to more effectively treat the multiple aspects of opioid addiction.

Previous research by the NSF on opioid addiction has increased understanding of the neuroscience of addiction, substance abuse intervention, the secondary effects on families, and more. Congresswoman Wexton’s bill would help close research gaps that currently exist in the study of opioid addiction and also promote greater collaboration and interdisciplinary research on this epidemic.

The EFFORT Act is cosponsored by Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Derek Kilmer (D-WA).

The full text of the bill can be found here.

Congresswoman Wexton is a founding member of the bipartisan Freshmen Working Group on Addiction and has been a strong advocate for addiction prevention and recovery efforts since her time in the state Senate when she served on the Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee. Earlier this year, the Congresswoman participated in a roundtable with the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition to discuss the importance of increased federal funding to addiction and treatment programs in the region.