Opioid Crisis Response Act moves through U.S. Congress

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois-- William Rogers is a medical doctor in the Quad Cities and a part time detective in Ohio. He says he’s seen both sides of the country’s opioid epidemic.

“I do pharmaceutical diversion investigations which includes everything from prescribers to pharmacist to paramedics,” says Detective Rogers.

He says over the last two years more people died of opioid related deaths than in the Vietnam War.

“We’ve exceeded that each year for two years,” says Rogers.

This week the U.S Senate passed a bill called the Opioid Crisis Response Act.

If signed into law, it allows doctors and law enforcement to track opioid prescriptions. It encourages physicians to look into other ways to treat pain for people on Medicare and it supports research for children exposed to opioids.

“It’s a move in the right direction I voted for it we all did but I hope we learn our lesson that this is not the end of the story,” says Senator Dick Durbin.

Congress plans for a final vote on an opioid bill in the next two weeks. The goal is to have it ready for the president to sign early next month.