President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law a bill to curb abuse of heroin and opioid drugs, even as he expressed bitter disappointment with Republicans for not providing more money for addiction treatment.
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 creates programs and expands treatment access for what has become a nationwide epidemic. The bill authorizes $181 million in new spending; Obama had asked Congress for more than $1 billion.
"Given the scope of this crisis, some action is better than none," Obama said in a statement.
"However, I am deeply disappointed that Republicans failed to provide any real resources for those seeking addiction treatment to get the care that they need," the president added. He said Democrats sought to include $920 million in treatment funding only to be blocked.
More than 47,000 U.S. drug abuse deaths were recorded in 2014, double the number in 2000. The government estimates more than 2 million people abuse opioids, which are potentially addictive pain medications.
Obama said 78 Americans die each day from opioid overdoses. He vowed to seek additional funding for the problem.