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Congressman Evan Jenkins

Representing the 3rd District of West Virginia

Combating the Drug Epidemic

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Neonatal abstinence syndrome is the name given to newborns suffering from drug withdrawal resulting from the mother’s use of drugs during pregnancy. No baby should be born suffering from withdrawal from heroin, methamphetamine, oxycodone and other highly addictive drugs.

Congressman Evan Jenkins is fighting every day to help these newborns and to ensure that they receive the best possible care.

After multiple meetings with doctors, nurses, caregivers, and families, he drafted the Nurturing and Supporting Health Babies Act. This bill will expand what we know about NAS and will make significant strides in guaranteeing the best possible care for babies with NAS. This bill was passed by the House and included in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which was signed into law. Congressman Jenkins has also introduced the Cradle Act which requires guidelines to be put in place to make it easier to open residential pediatric recovery centers, which specialize in the treatment of NAS babies.

Treatment and Recovery

Congressman Evan Jenkins has advocated for increased funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration to ensure that states have the resources necessary to implement much-needed mental health services. He has also championed increased funding for drug courts and veterans treatment courts – programs that work. These courts offer treatment and assistance in getting one’s life back on track.

Congressman Evan Jenkins was a proud supporter of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which was signed into law. This bill will make significant strides to help our communities fight the opioid and heroin epidemic by creating new grant programs that focus on community efforts, getting money to those who know best how to use it. It also has a number of other measures that focus on treatment, recovery and prevention.

Thanks to his work on the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Jenkins was able to secure language that would help keep the focus on Appalachia and West Virginia when securing grant funding for drug abuse programs. Recently Congressman Jenkins voted to increase SAMHSA’s Drug Abuse Prevention by $500 million. In addition to this, Congressman Jenkins has advocated for millions of dollars more in funding to fight the drug crisis and make sure treatment and prevention remain a critical part of our efforts.

Law Enforcement 

Representative Jenkins fought through the appropriations process to increase funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA), a program that brings together local, state, and federal law enforcement in order to stop the flow of drugs into our communities. HIDTA also works closely with the community to stop drug abuse problems before they begin. Recently, Rep. Jenkins introduced an amendment to increase HIDTA by $2 million, which was adopted on the House floor unanimously. Funding for this program makes a significant difference in law enforcement’s efforts to stop drug trafficking.

Evan also advocated as a member of the House Appropriations Committee to secure funding for the Byrne JAG police grants program. This program allows local law enforcement to use federal grant money in the ways that will best help the community. He will continue to be an advocate for our law enforcement and their efforts to combat the drug epidemic in West Virginia. He also continues to fight for programs that will keep heroin off our streets, like fully funding the heroin task forces and the National Guard counterdrug programs.

More on Combating the Drug Epidemic

May 17, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) has helped secure nearly $450 million to fight the opioid crisis, fund drug courts, and help people enter recovery.
 
These critical funds are included in the Fiscal Year 2019 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill, which the House Appropriations Committee approved on Thursday.
 
The bill provides $447 million for grant programs to stop opioid abuse, including:
  • $380 million for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act’s opioid crisis grants. 
May 7, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) thanked First Lady Melania Trump for making neonatal abstinence syndrome and opioid abuse part of her “Be Best” policy initiative announced Monday.

April 26, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) asked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions what can be done to ensure that the major drug traffickers arrested in Huntington during a landmark raid serve their time behind bars.

April 24, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) has helped introduce bipartisan legislation, the STOP (Surveillance and Testing of Opioids to Prevent) Fentanyl Deaths Act.

This bill is scheduled to be voted out of the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee on Wednesday, along with Rep. Jenkins’ Protecting NAS Babies Act.

April 19, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) announced today that West Virginia will be receiving more than $5.8 million in funding to target opioid treatment and response strategies.

West Virginia will receive $5,881,983 in September through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s State Targeted Opioid Grants program. These funds were authorized by Congress in the 21st Century Cures Act, which Rep. Jenkins proudly voted to pass in 2016.

April 19, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) has introduced new legislation that continues his work in Congress to help babies born exposed to opioids and other drugs.

His new bill, the Protecting NAS Babies Act, would act on key findings of the Government Accountability Office’s study on neonatal abstinence syndrome, which was written thanks to legislation introduced by Rep. Jenkins.

April 17, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) praised federal, state and local officials for a landmark drug trafficking takedown in Huntington today:

“For far too long, drug traffickers have pushed their deadly poison on Huntington and West Virginia with devastating consequences. This takedown broke up a drug trafficking ring, took countless deadly doses off our streets, and undoubtedly saved lives.

April 12, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – As West Virginia sees new statistics on number of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, Congress is a step closer to acting on policies championed by U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) to help address this issue.

The House Energy & Commerce Committee held a hearing Wednesday afternoon on a number of proposed bills addressing the opioid crisis, including a bill pushed by Rep. Jenkins to implement best practices in treating NAS.

March 22, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) voted today to pass the Consolidated Appropriations Act and fund a number of critical West Virginia priorities.

March 20, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) is continuing to push for passage of his legislation to ensure federal opioid epidemic funding goes to the states most affected, like West Virginia.

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration announced on Monday that West Virginia will be receiving $330,000 in additional funding, as our state has the highest overdose death rate in the nation.