Efforts to curb opioid addiction in the United States made news again last week when the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) with 407 votes in favor and 5 against. CARA gives the Attorney General and Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to award grants to stem the tide of the opioid epidemic, one that claims over 70 lives every day in the United States.
Such grants would go towards forming an inter-agency task force to “review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication,” according to the bill’s authors. The legislation is multifaceted and hopefully will have a serious impact on the epidemic—saving lives and helping people get the addiction treatment they desperately require.
Tomorrow, the Senate, which already passed the bill in March, will vote on adopting the legislation. CARA covers eight different areas relevant to the opioid crisis in America, which are listed below:
- Title I: Prevention and Education
- Title II: Law Enforcement and Treatment
- Title III: Treatment and Recovery
- Title IV: Addressing Collateral Consequences
- Title V: Addiction and Recovery Services for Women, Families, and Veterans
- Title VI: Incentivizing State Comprehensive Initiatives to Address Prescription Opioid and Heroin Abuse
- Title VII: Miscellaneous
- Title VIII: Transnational Drug Trafficking Act
The CARA Act will expand access to the lifesaving overdose reversal drug naloxone. It will also expand access to prescription drug safe disposal sites, so that unwanted medication does not end up in the wrong hands. It aims to strengthen preexisting prescription drug monitoring programs, which are often underutilized. Increasing the availability of evidence-based addiction treatment services across the country, especially in rural America.