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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

October 23, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) is introducing legislation today to improve federal agencies’ responses and coordination to address the fentanyl and heroin epidemic.

October 19, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) joined a bipartisan group of his colleagues today to introduce legislation to empower the Drug Enforcement Administration to go after irresponsible drug distributors.

The legislation would repeal the provisions of the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act that have hampered the DEA’s efforts to stop the delivery of opioids and other medications to suspicious distributors. This is the companion bill to legislation introduced by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in the Senate.

October 10, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) welcomed First Lady Melania Trump at the Tri-State Airport today as she arrived to visit Lily’s Place.

“I was honored to welcome First Lady Melania Trump to my hometown of Huntington and thank her for visiting Lily’s Place to learn more about caring for babies born drug exposed. I helped to start Lily’s Place more than three years ago to provide specialized care for newborns exposed to heroin and other opioids,” Rep. Jenkins said.

October 9, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) issued the following statement ahead of First Lady Melania Trump’s planned visit to Lily’s Place and Huntington on Tuesday:

October 4, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) announced the release today of the Government Accountability Office’s study on neonatal abstinence syndrome.

The study, “Federal Action Needed to Address Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome,” is the first federal study of its kind to examine best practices and approaches to treating newborns exposed to opioids during pregnancy. Please click here to read the study.

September 14, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) has helped pass a landmark appropriations bill that includes funding for many West Virginia priorities, including roads, infrastructure, drug treatment, black lung clinics and economic development.

The bill also continues President Trump’s promise to build the wall, providing the president’s full requested funding -- $1.6 billion – for the wall and security along our nation’s southern border.

September 13, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) has successfully secured an additional $6 million for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program.

HIDTA has a proven track record in West Virginia of helping state and local law enforcement stop drug trafficking in our communities.

“HIDTA is needed. The opioid epidemic is getting worse, and this is not a time to hold back on funding programs that work,” Rep. Jenkins said on the House floor today.

August 10, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) issued the following statement on President Trump’s announcement that he plans to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency:

“I welcome President Trump’s announcement and the additional resources this declaration will give West Virginia to respond to this urgent public health crisis. Too many sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends have been lost to the disease of addiction throughout West Virginia.

August 10, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.), who helped found Lily’s Place in Huntington, issued the following statement regarding a recent news report on the organization:

“Cardinal Health should be ashamed of its accusations against Lily’s Place. I helped start Lily’s Place with dedicated nurses, doctors and community leaders to be part of the solution to the opioid crisis ravaging West Virginia.

July 27, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) has helped fund the construction of the border wall, provide healthcare for our veterans, give our troops a pay raise, and save the Appalachian Regional Commission.

All of these important priorities were included in H.R. 3219, the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed 235-192 on Thursday.