Hoeven: Congress Passes Bill to Help Prevent, Treat Drug Addiction, Help Law Enforcement Combat Drug Crime

Measure Will Help Fight the Nation’s Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the Senate has concurred with the House to pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), bipartisan legislation that will help combat the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic plaguing communities across the nation. The senate passed its CARA bill in March.

“Both the Senate and House have now passed this important legislation, which will help us fight the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic that has impacted communities across the nation, including in North Dakota,” Hoeven said. “The bill focuses on prevention, treatment and aid to law enforcement as they work to keep dangerous drugs out of the hands of people who don’t need them.”

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act provides an evidence-based approach to help combat the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic. The bill expands prevention efforts, supports law enforcement, combats overdoses and expands access to treatment to help communities combat drug addiction and drug crimes.

Under the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, the U.S. Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services are authorized to award grants to states to address the national epidemics of addition to heroin and prescription opioids.

Brief Summary of CARA Provisions

• Expands prevention and educational efforts—particularly aimed at teens, parents and other caretakers, and aging populations—to prevent the abuse of methamphetamines, opioids and heroin, and to promote treatment and recovery.
• Expands the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders to help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives.
• Includes resources to enhance veteran drug treatment courts.
• Expands resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction disorders promptly by collaborating with criminal justice stakeholders and by providing evidence-based treatment.
• Expands disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the hands of our children and adolescents.
• Launches an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and intervention program to expand best practices throughout the country.
• Launches a medication assisted treatment and intervention demonstration program.
• Strengthens prescription drug monitoring programs to help states monitor and track prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals access services.

Nearly 250 groups support CARA, including:

• The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
• Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
• Faces and Voices of Recovery
• The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers
• The National Association of Drug Court Professionals, and
• The National Criminal Justice Association.