The Obama Administration on Tuesday voiced concern over the lack of funding in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, The Hill reports. The U.S. Senate voted 89-0 on Monday to begin considering the measure, which would increase addiction treatment and prevention.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, a Democrat, has proposed an amendment that would provide $600 million in anti-drug spending.
CARA 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.
In a statement, the Obama Administration said that while the bill “identifies several steps needed to respond to the opioid epidemic, the Administration is concerned that the bill does not include the funding necessary to implement these steps—and until that funding is provided by the Congress, these steps would do little to address the epidemic.”
The administration added, “rather than accelerate important policies like training health care providers about appropriate opioid prescribing, the bill includes an unnecessary feasibility study on the issue that would delay action.”