The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) was reintroduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Here’s the least you need to know.
What CARA does:
- Designates between $40 million and $80 million toward advancing treatment and recovery support services in state and local communities across the country.
- Expands prevention and educational efforts to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery.
- Expands the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders.
- Expands resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction disorders.
- Launches an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and interventions program to expand best practices nationwide.
- Strengthens prescription drug monitoring programs.
- Expands disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications.
One section we found especially interesting is the effort to develop best practices in pain management and prescribing of pain medication, which would include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Veteran’s Administration. The interagency task force would be obligated to submit a report to Congress on its progress.
Many of the proposed efforts are grant-funded SAMHSA demonstration projects. Summary text of the bill can be accessed here.