“A bill to address the ongoing opioid epidemic easily passed the Senate on March 10 by a vote of 94 to 1.
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA, S.524), authored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and cosponsored by 42 others, had broad bipartisan support, with 50 Republicans, 43 Democrats, and 1 Independent voting to support the bill.
According to Sen. Whitehouse, the CARA legislation would:
- Expand prevention and educational efforts — particularly aimed at teens, parents, and other caretakers — to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery.
- Make naloxone more widely available to law enforcement agencies and other first responders to help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives.
- Provide resources to promptly identify and more effectively treat incarcerated individuals with addiction disorders.
- Increase the number of disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the hands of children and adolescents.
- Launch an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and interventions program and promote treatment best practices throughout the country.
- Strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs to help states monitor and track prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals access services.”
The bill now moves on to the U.S. House of representative.
Read more at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/860283
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Source: Medscape.com – March 11, 2016
See related blog – Why House action is imperative in the fight against addiction available at: http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/273144-house-action-imperative-in-the-fight-against-addiction
See related opinion from Jane Maxwell: Why Congress’ fix for opioid addiction doesn’t go far enough available at: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/opinion/maxwell-why-congress-fix-for-opioid-addiction-does/nqk3F/