U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford, announced that she is an original cosponsor of a bill that will look to help stem opioid abuse among veterans.

The Veterans Opioid Abuse Prevention Act — introduced by U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn, a U.S. Army veteran and doctor — is designed to connect doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs to a national network of state-based prescription drug-monitoring programs, according to a release from Tenney’s office.

The monitoring programs are currently used by 49 states to track prescribing data and patient history for those prescribed narcotics. In a release, Tenney said it is estimated that veterans are twice as likely to fall victim to opioids. She said the bill is “an important step forward” in empowering VA staff with releveant information needed to end the opioid epidemic.

“As the mother of an active duty Marine and the representative of a district with over 55,000 veterans, it is among my top priorities to ensure that the VA has the tools necessary to provide the highest quality of care for our nation’s heroes,” Tenney said in a statement.

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