NCADD has joined with about 90 organizations in signing onto a letter in support of S. 2839, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2014 (CARA).
The bill was introduced by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI ), Rob Portman (R-OH ), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH ) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and would make important advancements to address the growing epidemic of drug abuse in the country.
The letter is being sent to Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Charles Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member of that Committee, and to Representatives Robert Goodlatte (R-VA), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and John Conyers (D-MI), Ranking Member.
The bill, referred to as CARA, will:
- Expand prevention and educational efforts-particularly aimed at teens, parents and other caretakers, and aging populations-to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery.
- Expand the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders to help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives.
- Expand resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction disorders promptly by collaborating with criminal justice stakeholders and by providing evidence-based treatment.
- Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the hands of our children and adolescents.
- Launch an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and interventions program. While we have services and medications that can help treat addiction, there is a critical need to get the training and resources necessary to expand use of evidence-based treatment services and medications to assist in treatment and recovery throughout the country.
- Strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs to help states monitor and track prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals access services.
The bill has been referred to the respective Judiciary Committees.