Capito, Gillibrand Introduce 

Legislation to Help Families of 

Individuals Struggling with Addiction

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), along with Representatives Daniel Meuser (R-Pa.-09) and David Trone (D-Md.-06) announced the introduction of theFamily Support Services for Addiction Act. The legislation would provide $25 million in grant funding to help non-profits and community organizations offer support services to families with loved ones seeking addiction treatment.

 “The past few years have been tough on all of us, but especially for those in addiction treatment and recovery, as well as their families,” Senator Capito said. “This bipartisan legislation will hopefully provide family members with the support, resources, and information they need to assist both their loved ones struggling with substance use disorders and all within their family who are impacted by it.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were an estimated 107,622 drug overdose deaths in the United States during 2021, an increase of nearly 15% from the 93,655 estimated deaths in 2020. Data for West Virginia shows little in improvement in 2022, with a reported 1,135 West Virginians lost to overdoses. Even before the pandemic, families with individuals who have a substance use disorder often struggled to access basic support services. Even when services are offered, they often come at an additional cost. Fortunately, research shows that outcomes can improve when family members are involved in a loved one’s treatment. The Family Support Services for Addiction Act would establish a federal grant program to help nonprofits and community organizations offer support to families of individuals struggling with substance use disorder. This bill would also bolster national and local community programs that offer family support services by delivering $25 million in grants through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over five years. Family support services include caregiver peer support, education and training, systems navigation for families trying to access treatment and other resources, counseling services, support groups for those in crisis and for those who have lost loved ones, and skill-building.