(CNSNews.com) - The Senate will take up a bipartisan bill addressing the nation's growing demand for painkillers and heroin, but not the easy supply coming in from Mexico and points south.
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (S.524), introduced by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), states that "The abuse of heroin and prescription pain-killers is having a devastating effect on public health and safety in communities across the United States."
Although the bill briefly mentions "Mexican drug trafficking organizations" as one explanation for the epidemic, it does not address ways to choke off the supply. Instead, it authorizes hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to address the demand-side of the problem.
In addition to treatment programs, the bill addresses the negative fallout for those who abuse drugs. For example, the bill would establish treatment programs as alternatives to prison; and it expands the use of naloxone to save heroin overdose victims.
Just last week, in testimony before the House intelligence committee, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper specifically mentioned "drug trafficking" among the threats facing the United States.