Senate Votes to Advance Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

The Senate on Monday voted 86-3 to advance the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), USA Today reports. A vote on the final passage of the bill is expected this week.

The measure has not yet been taken up by the House, the article notes.

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 justice settings, and would support treatment as an alternative to incarceration.

The measure also calls for training and equipping first responders on the use of the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone.

CARA calls for spending as much as $80 million on treatment, prevention and recovery. It does not include actual funding, which would have to come through an appropriations bill.

Last week the Senate voted against an amendment to CARA that would have added $600 million in funding. 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 Obama Administration recently voiced concern over the lack of funding in the bill.

    User Picture

    mel tremper

    March 9, 2016 at 5:30 PM

    Results of an evaluation of a drug take back program presented at last year’s National Prevention Network conference indicated that despite enthusiastic support, the program did not seem to have much effect. At first glance the amount of returned drugs looked impressive. But when that amount was compared to the total projected amount of those drugs prescribed to the population it was a tiny proportion. Overdoes rates did not seem to be greatly affected. Perhaps more attention should be paid to the evidence before legislators try to mandate the requirements for funding.

Leave a Comment

Please leave a comment below to contribute to the discussion. If you have a specific question, please contact a Parent Specialist, who will provide you with one-on-one help.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *