15 July 2016
In a rare act of bipartisanship, Congress has voted overwhelmingly to pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). The bill now goes to the president where it is expected to be signed and approved.
In a response to the deadly opioid epidemic that is ravaging this country, CARA is one of the most comprehensive bills to come out of Congress aimed at tackling the issues of substance abuse. The bill encompasses elements of prevention, treatment, recovery, law enforcement, criminal justice reform, and overdose reversal. Some highlights of the bill include the expansion of the availability of Naloxone, used to treat those who overdose on heroin and other opioids, to paramedics and first-responders, improve prescription drug monitoring programs, and treating incarcerated people who are suffering from drug addiction instead of just punishing them. This is a first-of-its-kind bill by Congress and shows just how far we have come in treating addiction like a disease that we know it is.
Senator Mark Kirk , along with other members of Congress, applauded passage of CARA. He says, “Naloxone is saving lives across Illinois and should be readily available to help combat the opioid and heroin epidemic.” CADCA, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, also tweeting support of this bill as well.