AMSTERDAM, NY—Congressman Paul D. Tonko joined a bipartisan coalition to introduce H.Res.364, a resolution recognizing the contributions of America’s addiction professionals workforce, which represents more than 100,000 counselors, educators, and other addiction-focused health care professionals who specialize in prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery support and education. The resolution is sponsored by Representatives Dave Joyce (OH-14), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Bill Johnson (OH-06) and David Trone (MD-06).
“The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unbelievable pressure on our health care professionals and had a devastating impact on those living with the disease of addiction,” Congressman Tonko said. “We cannot hope to end these crises without delivering the resources and support Americans need to find and follow the path to recovery. I’m proud to support this evidence-based, compassionate resolution that honors our medical professionals and their patients working to pave that path forward.”
“Addiction has long plagued millions of Americans, but the threat it poses increased significantly due to the isolation and instability caused by COVID-19,” said Congressman Joyce, Vice Chair of the Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus. “It is critical that our communities have access to the full range of treatment and recovery services needed to effectively tackle addiction. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan resolution to recognize the role addiction professionals play in successful substance use disorder treatment and counseling. We must continue to do everything in our power to support them and their life-saving work on the front lines of our nation’s addiction crisis.”
“The past year was particularly challenging both for those struggling with addiction and substance use disorders and for the selfless men and women tirelessly working to treat and counsel those individuals. Everyone in need of addiction treatment or in recovery should have the resources they need to heal, and we wouldn’t be able to accomplish that without those who devote every day to helping their fellow Ohioans. As Co-Chair of the House Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus, I applaud the tireless work of addiction professionals, and I look forward to continuing to work with them to end this addiction epidemic once and for all,” said Congressman Ryan.
“The counselors, teachers, and healthcare experts on our front lines combatting addiction, especially during this challenging COVID-19 pandemic, deserve our support for their life-changing work,” said Rep. Johnson. “That’s why I’ve joined several of my colleagues – Democrats and Republicans -- to recognize their contributions to the individuals, families, and communities that are being ravaged by addiction. I’m thankful for their hard work, and I know that anyone who has dealt with addiction first hand is as well.
“Supporting those with substance use disorder means ensuring we have a well-trained and well-resourced addiction workforce,” said Rep. Trone. “With the rise in mental health and addiction struggles during this pandemic, it’s time we call to attention and recognize those who are on the front lines of providing treatment for these crises. Thank you to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together to show our support to these frontline heroes.”
Specifically, the bipartisan resolution states that the U.S. House of Representatives supports the delivery of evidence-based care for substance use disorder by acknowledging the contributions of addiction professionals and encourages that recognized credentials reflect the requisite knowledge, training, and competencies for delivering quality, effective substance use disorder counseling. You can read the full text of the resolution here.
Organizations that have endorsed the resolution include: The Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC), Addiction Policy Forum, National Association of Addiction Treatment Professionals (NAATP), and the Northeast Ohio Hospital Opioid Consortium.