NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, recognized U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick from the 8th District of Pennsylvania as its 2017 Legislator of the Year for his demonstrated commitment to addiction professionals and the clients they serve. As a former drug crime federal prosecutor and certified emergency medical technician, Representative Fitzpatrick has made combatting drug and opioid abuse and addiction a priority in his first term.
As a vice-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, Representative Fitzpatrick helped create a bold legislative agenda to address all angles of this issue – including enhancing medical education for prescribers and providers, increasing the availability of Narcan, encouraging wide-spread use and accessibility of Medication-Assisted Treatment, ensuring federal healthcare systems share data with Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, and making it easier to share addiction-specific medical information with healthcare providers.
The Task Force’s agenda also includes two Fitzpatrick-led and NAADAC supported bills, the Road to Recovery Act and the International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act.
Representative Fitzpatrick’s Road to Recovery Act eliminates the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Diseases or “IMD” exclusion for substance use disorder and helps states expand access to inpatient treatment for Medicaid enrollees. The IMD exclusion is a long-standing policy that prohibits federal Medicaid-matching funds to states for services rendered to Medicaid-eligible individuals who are patients for substance use disorders and mental health treatment. The IMD exclusion blocks access to treatment for people who need inpatient treatment for addiction, including some of society’s most vulnerable populations: veterans, pregnant women, women with dependent children, and low-level drug offenders. NAADAC applauds Representative Fitzpatrick's efforts to eliminate the IMD exclusion and help states expand access to inpatient addiction services.
The INTERDICT Act is bipartisan legislation that provides U.S. Custom and Border Protection access to the latest in chemical screening devices and scientific support to detect and intercept fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.
Finally, NAADAC also supports Representative Fitzpatrick's call to President Trump to declare the opioid crisis a national state of emergency, his work with the Congressional Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery Caucus, and his work to save Medicare and reform our healthcare system through bipartisan solutions.
In the 115th Congress, Representative Fitzpatrick is a member of the Foreign Affiars, Homeland Security, and Small Business committees. In addition, he is a member of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery Caucus and the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, among other caucuses and task forces. A Levittown native and graduate of Bishop Egan High School, Representative Fitzpatrick is a graduate of LaSalle University, Penn State University and the Dickinson School of Law. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and Emergency Medical Technician, as well as an attorney, having previously served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney focused on drug crimes.
The 2017 Legislator of the Year award was presented to Representative Fitzpatrick at the 2017 Advocacy in Action Reception held in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, October 1, 2017 in conjunction with the 2017 Public Policy Institute and Hill Day. For more information on the advocacy conference, click here.
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NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, represents the professional interests of more than 95,000 addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused healthcare professionals in the United States, Canada, and abroad. NAADAC’s members are addiction counselors, educators, and other addiction-focused health care professionals, who specialize in addiction prevention, treatment, recovery support, and education. An important part of the healthcare continuum, NAADAC members, and its 47 state affiliates work to create healthier individuals, families and communities through prevention, intervention, quality treatment and recovery support.