The following is a message from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Yesterday, President Trump signed into law a legislative package to address the opioid epidemic, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. The Academy fought hard to make sure this sweeping legislation prioritized children, adolescents, and families, leading to a critical step forward to end this public health crisis.

Children can be impacted by opioids throughout their lifespan. Treating neonatal abstinence syndrome can be costly and difficult for families. Children with parents suffering substance use disorders face an increased risk of child neglect and trauma, and often end up in foster care. Adolescents are vulnerable to opioid use and dependence, which can continue throughout adulthood.

Because children have so much at stake, the AAP advocated at each step of the way to secure important provisions to benefit children. Please read below for a comprehensive list. AAP Committee on Substance Use and Prevention Chair Sheryl Ryan, MD, FAAP, and Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, MS, FAAP, attended the bill’s signing ceremony at the White House, and are pictured right with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). (Left to right: Dr. Ryan, Sen. Portman and Dr. Patrick)

AAP will continue to advocate for policies that address the child health impact of the ongoing opioid crisis and ensure that as this law is implemented, children’s needs are prioritized.