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Congressman Tom MacArthur

Representing the 3rd District of New Jersey

Congressman MacArthur Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Help Adolescents Struggling with Addiction

December 8, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Republican Chairman of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force Congressman Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) introduced the College Loan Deferment for Recovery Act. This bill would allow borrowers enrolled in a substance abuse treatment program to defer payments on public student loans, while actively receiving treatment without interest accruing during the deferment period.


“The opioid epidemic continues to destroy communities across the United States, and in many cases, young Americans transitioning to adulthood are the most heavily impacted by this crisis,” said Congressman MacArthur. “This bipartisan bill will allow young adults to focus on treatment and overcoming addiction without having to worry about the financial burden of student loans. Young Americans, who are on the road to recovery, should have financial peace of mind while receiving life-saving treatment for addiction.” 


“Families shouldn’t have to choose between seeking treatment for their loved ones struggling with opioid addiction and paying the bills,” Congresswomen Esty said. “The pain of helping a family member seek treatment and recover is difficult enough; no one should have to tell their son or daughter that the family can’t afford to treat their child. By allowing Americans to defer student loan payments while receiving state-approved treatment, this bill will be a small step forward in our efforts to combat the opioid crisis and repair families. Like Congressman MacArthur, I’m committed to working across party lines to ensure that we heal everyone we can.”


 “Congressman MacArthur should be commended for his wanting to help persons in recovery in a very meaningful & measurable way,” said James P. Curtin, President  & Chief Executive Officer of Daytop New Jersey. “All too often financial pressure can act as a relapse trigger. This relief, while someone is actively engaged in treatment, will go a long way in supporting someone’s path to recovery.”


“One in ten.  The percentage of people suffering with a substance use disorder who get the treatment they so desperately need is nothing short of tragic.  The legislation proposed by Representatives Esty and MacArthur removes a substantial barrier to that treatment.  Fully committing to an effective recovery program optimizes the chance that a young person can change the trajectory of their life -  the lasting outcomes to that investment are enormous,” said Maria Coutant Skinner from the McCall Center for Behavioral Health in Torrington, CT.