Senate Passes CARA!

Senate Passes CARA!
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...
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Senate Blocks $600 Million in Additional Funding for Bill Aimed at Combating Addiction

Senate Blocks $600 Million in Additional Funding for Bill Aimed at Combating Addiction
The Senate voted against an amendment to the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) that would have added $600 million in funding. The bill would increase addiction treatment and prevention. The amendment was sponsored by Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, a Democrat. Senate Democrats said they will not block the legislation over funding, The Washington Post reports. Senate Republicans argue that there are potentially hundreds of millions available for CARA as part of the omnibus spending bill passed in late 2015, The Hill reports. Five Republicans voted along with Democrats on Wednesday for the additional funding for CARA. The Act is sponsored by Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, a Democrat, and Rob Portman of Ohio, a Republican. The bill has bipartisan support and would expand prescription drug take-back programs and establish monitoring to prevent over-prescribing of opioid painkillers. It would expand the availability of medication-assisted treatment, including in criminal...
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Massachusetts Dental Schools Will Train Students in Opioid Abuse Prevention

Massachusetts Dental Schools Will Train Students in Opioid Abuse Prevention
Dental schools in Massachusetts have agreed to begin training their students in opioid abuse prevention and management, WBUR reports. The state already has reached similar agreements with the heads of the state’s medical schools. “The fact is that over 80 percent of those prescriptions which are diverted or misused comes from prescriptions written by physicians and dentists,” said Dr. David Keith, a Massachusetts General Hospital oral surgeon who is also on the faculty at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. He said the agreement is a unique opportunity for the dental schools and the Massachusetts Dental Society to “come together to educate our dentists and advanced dental trainees in the correct prescribing of opioids,” including alternative pain management techniques and proper referral practices to other disciplines. The agreement between Governor Charlie Baker, the deans of the state’s dental schools, and the Massachusetts Dental Society will cover the 1,800 undergraduates and...
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College Marijuana Use Linked With Skipped Classes, Lower Grades, Late Graduation

College Marijuana Use Linked With Skipped Classes, Lower Grades, Late Graduation
A new study finds marijuana use in the first year of college can lead to students missing classes. The more frequently a student uses marijuana, the more they tend to skip class, earn lower grades, and graduate later. Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health followed 1,117 college students for eight years to test the direct and indirect effects on marijuana use on GPA and time to graduation. The findings are part of a larger study, called the College Life Study, which began in 2003. “Alcohol and other drug use are also related to skipping class, but when we adjusted for other substance use we still found a relationship between marijuana and skipping class,” said lead researcher Amelia Arria, Associate Professor of Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. She noted previous studies have found a relationship between marijuana and other...
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Naloxone Offered Free to High Schools Around the Country

Naloxone Offered Free to High Schools Around the Country
The opioid overdose antidote naloxone is being offered free to high schools around the country by the drugmaker Adapt Pharma, according to U.S. News & World Report . Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, quickly reverses overdoses from heroin and prescription painkillers. Naloxone will be offered in nasal spray form to high schools through state departments of education. The Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters Initiative is collaborating on the project. Many states do not have rules that would permit high school staff to administer naloxone in an emergency without facing liability from parents or guardians, the article notes. There are significant variations in state and local rules about whether staff is allowed to administer medication to students. In some school districts, medication can only be administered by school nurses, who often work at more than one school. The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) in June said that “incorporating use...
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Two Senators Call on Congress to Fund Effort to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Two Senators Call on Congress to Fund Effort to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Two U.S. senators are calling on Congress to pass an emergency spending bill to combat the growing opioid epidemic, according to The Hill . Senators Angus King of Maine and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire are asking for $600 million in funding. Senator Shaheen introduced legislation last year that would provide supplemental funding, including $225 million for the Department of Justice to increase spending for state and local initiatives on drug treatment and law enforcement programs. That amount would include $25 million to assist state drug task forces in dealing with particularly high rates of heroin abuse. The measure would provide $375 million to the Department of Health and Human Services to fund programs to prevent substance abuse and prescription drug overdoses. The funds would also go toward research on drug addiction, and programs targeting underage drinking and drug abuse among young people ages 12 to 25. Earlier this month,...
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E-Cigarettes Associated With Less Quitting Among Smokers

E-Cigarettes Associated With Less Quitting Among Smokers
A new study finds e-cigarettes are associated with significantly less quitting among smokers, CBS News reports. Adult smokers who used e-cigarettes were 28 percent less likely to stop smoking regular cigarettes, researchers found. The findings, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine , are the largest to date to address the question of whether e-cigarettes help smokers quit. “E-cigarettes should not be recommended as effective smoking cessation aids until there is evidence that, as promoted and used, they assist smoking cessation,” said lead researcher Dr. Sara Kalkhoran, who was at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) when the research was conducted. She is now at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The researchers reviewed 38 studies that evaluated the link between e-cigarette use and smoking cessation among adult smokers. Of those, they chose 20 studies that had control groups of smokers who did not use e-cigarettes, and combined the...
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Facing Addiction and The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are proud to announce the merger of our organizations – creating a national leader in turning the tide on the addiction epidemic.
The merged organization will be called:

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