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Huizenga: We Must Help Those Struggling With Opioid Addiction Recover

Washington, June 15, 2018

Yesterday, Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI-02) spoke on the floor in support of the Transitional Housing for Recovery in Viable Environments or THRIVE Act. This legislation would expand housing options for individuals who are transitioning out of addiction treatment and require continued support. The THRIVE Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 230-173. 

Congressman Huizenga:

The Transitional Housing for Recovery in Viable Environments (THRIVE) Act is an important piece of legislation with strong bipartisan support - that came out of the Financial Services Committee - and would create a pilot program to allocate Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers to transitional housing non-profits with evidence-based models of recovery and life-skills training.

Our country, our states, and our communities are in crisis right now. Over the last decade, there has been a dramatic rise in opioid abuse, whether it is the nonmedical use of prescription drugs as well as illicitly manufactured heroin. We need engagement at every level.

In light of this medical emergency; there is an extremely pressing need for additional transitional housing for opioid recovery. These housing programs must follow a proven evidence-based approach that has helped thousands of Americans to maintain sobriety after completing rehab, gain these valuable jobs skills, obtain employment, and eventually transition back into society to lead independent lives.

Time and time again, individuals who have just completed in-patient rehabilitation programs are forced to live in housing situations where they are surrounded by people that are using the same illegal substances that sent them to rehab. We have to change that.

While the evidence suggests that effective treatment and recovery plans should cover a span of three to five years for an individual based on their needs and severity, we have a long way to go to properly prioritize and fund the recovery support programs and resources that individuals need in their communities. 23 million Americans are in recovery today from substance abuse, and as we provide care for more individuals in need of addiction treatment, investing in the necessary recovery framework is critical. A sober, safe, and healthy living environment that promotes recovery from substance abuse is essential in providing quality recovery support.

These are people who qualify for these Section 8 vouchers because they have exhausted their resources. Let’s throw them a lifeline. Let’s give them some help. Let’s help them succeed. That is why I strongly support the THRIVE Act, which also has the support of the Michigan Heroin & Opiate Prevention and Education Program known as Mi-HOPE. I urge all my colleagues to support this bill and yield back the balance of my time.

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