White House Concerned About Lack of Funding in Bill Aimed at Combating Addiction

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.”

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    Larey Fierman

    March 3, 2016 at 1:23 PM

    Even $600 million is a joke. There is estimated to be over 1 million Americans addicted to opiates alone. This would allow $600.00 each for treatment in a world where residential treatment averages over $1,000.00 per day in the private sector. Take it even farther out where there is an estimated 30 million Americans addicted to all drugs, including alcohol, which leaves about $2.00 each for some kind of help.

    We need to do more and we need to do it now!

    Larey Fierman, CATC-I

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    Dennis Wade

    March 2, 2016 at 2:29 PM

    Once again, the government is here to help us. This time in the guise of a bill that looks to see if solving the problem is even worth it. More lip service with little action that will actually do any good.

    I have found almost nothing over the past 7+ years to agree with from this White House, but I wholeheartedly agree with the administration on the point they are making. I guess to most in Washington, looking to be concerned is more important that actually doing something about that concern.

    Dennis Wade, MS CATC-IV CATE

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