Help Pass S. 3179 Family Support Services for Addiction Act of 2020

Help Pass S. 3179 Family Support Services for Addiction Act of 2020

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Abby Kane started this petition to Pat Toomey

My name is Abby Kane and I am a junior social work major at Carlow University. 

I am writing to bring a bill to your attention: S. 3179 Family Support Services for Addiction Act of 2020.  This bill works to fund organizations that support individuals struggling with addiction, along with their families.  Specifically, this bill will help distribute resources, grant money, and support services to organizations that serve populations with addiction.  This is a widespread issue, as addiction impacts more than 19 million Americans, from young adolescents to older adults. 

In 2017, about twenty million people needed treatment for substance addiction and abuse, but only about four million people received treatment.  This leaves sixteen million individuals, along with their numerous family members, without treatment and support. 

Some people believe that addiction is a choice.  Using a drug initially may be a choice.  However, after repeated use, the brain’s reward system is altered, and using drugs becomes a way to produce dopamine, which soon becomes out of control.  Drug and alcohol addiction is also caused by a combination of factors, including genetics and environment.  Genetics make up around half of an individual’s likelihood of becoming addicted to substances, and the other half depend on environment.  For example, a child growing up in a home with trauma, mental, physical, or sexual abuse, or parents who use drugs, becomes more likely to abuse drugs themselves.

This bill is sponsored by Kirsten Gillibrand, a democratic junior senator for New York.  She has worked with advocating for women and families, affordable childcare, and equal pay.  She also has a background in law, and has served on committees on agriculture, nutrition, forestry, armed forces, the environment, and aging.

This bill is important to me because, as a social work major, I am very passionate about public health.  Addiction impacts all ages, races, and genders, and negatively impacts many children and families.  This bill will fund community organizations, I believe this bill is something important to consider supporting.  It was recently introduced, on January 9th of 2020, and it is still being sent to committees before being sent to the entire chamber. 

The funding provided by this bill will also help children and families, which is another very important issue.  The Family Support Services for Addiction Act of 2020 will directly support individuals that addiction impacts and provide a safer environment for the children and families that you believe should be protected.  Specific to families, this bill notes that it will help behavioral health providers, primary care physicians, individuals and families who provide foster care, along with family service agencies. 

Thank you so much for your time, and I hope you will consider supporting S. 3179, the Family Support Services for Addiction Act of 2020.

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