Today the Senate passed the Comprehensive Addictions and Recovery Act (S.524).
The legislation, known as CARA, passed with an overwhelming bi-partisan vote of 94-1 in the first stand-alone bill to pass the Senate in years.
The legislation authorizes much-needed funding for evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery programs to help Americans struggling with addiction to heroin or other opioids, and now moves on to the House for its consideration.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) praises the Senate for its approval of CARA, and we thank Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Senator Rob Portman, Senator Kelly Ayotte, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Chuck Grassley, and Senator Patrick Leahy for helping to advance this important legislation.
CARA authorizes $600 million for grants to address the national prescription, opioid and heroin addiction epidemics. Authorized funds could be used for treatment and recovery services, alternatives to prison for nonviolent offenders, law enforcement initiatives and programs to prevent overdose deaths and improper prescriptions.
Specifically, CARA would:
- Expand access to addiction treatment, including medication-assisted treatment for heroin and opioid dependence.
- Provide funds for addiction recovery programming and substance use prevention efforts.
- Create new opportunities for people to receive drug treatment instead of incarceration.
NCADD President, Andrew Pucher, commented, “This is a major step forward in addressing the critical need for more substance use prevention, addiction treatment, and recovery support programs. The overwhelming vote in the Senate highlights the incredible importance of this legislation. We urge the House to take the measure up quickly and for both chambers to fully fund the bill.”