Combating Opioid Addiction

 ‘Bipartisan Legislation … Designed To Fight Prescription Opioid Abuse And Heroin Use’


SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “[T]here are steps we can take today to help families impacted by drug abuse — and keep more families from ever going through it to begin with. . .  [The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA)] has garnered a great deal of support from both sides because of its provisions to expand prevention and educational efforts, strengthen prescription-drug monitoring programs, improve treatment programs, and give law enforcement more of the tools it needs to address the epidemic.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 2/25/2016)


SEN. PORTMAN: ‘The Heroin Epidemic … Has Reached Crisis Levels’

SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): “This is the only bipartisan legislation that includes a comprehensive and evidence-based approach to help communities combat this epidemic.  It has significant support from both sides of the aisle, as well as from doctors, nurses, first responders, those in recovery, and other experts in the field. The heroin epidemic in Ohio has reached crisis levels and I will continue to work to get this bill over the finish line.” (Sen. Portman, Press Release, 2/11/2016)

SEN. KELLY AYOTTE (R-NH): “There isn't a place I go in my state where I don't hear . . . about someone who [lost] a loved one, lost someone they care about, because of heroin, opioids [and] fentanyl - the deadly combination that is killing people. We have an important opportunity... with the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, and more resources, to address prevention, treatment [and] support for our first responders.” (Sen. Ayotte, Press Release, 2/23/2016)

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): “Addiction is a disease that afflicts far too many Americans. . . This legislation will give the teachers, law enforcement officers, health care providers, family members, and all those on the front lines of this battle the tools they need to fight back. . . I’m pleased to see it advance to the Senate floor.” (Sen. Whitehouse, Press Release, 2/11/2016)

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): “As a former prosecutor, I have seen firsthand the devastating effects drug abuse can have on families in Minnesota and across the country. We must spare no effort to reverse this deadly trend. Today’s [Judiciary Committee] vote brings us one step closer to passing this critical bipartisan legislation and giving communities the tools they need to combat drug abuse.” (Sen. Klobuchar, Press Release, 2/11/2016)


Over 130 Anti-Drug Groups Support the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act

More than 130 National Anti-Drug Groups: “We write in support of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 . . . which will make important advancements to effectively address the growing epidemic of drug abuse in the United States. Heroin use and misuse of prescription painkillers is having a devastating effect on public health and safety in communities across the United States.” (Letter to Sens. McConnell and Reid, 2/24/2016)

  • “Only through a comprehensive approach, such as that included in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015, that leverages evidence-based law enforcement and health care services, including treatment, can we stop and reverse current trends.” (Letter to Sens. McConnell and Reid, 2/24/2016)

Letter signed by:

  • National District Attorneys Association
  • Major County Sheriffs Association
  • National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials
  • Faces and Voices of Recovery
  • Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
  • National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
  • American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
  • American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
  • American Correctional Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
  • DEA Educational Foundation
  • Treatment Communities of America

Drug Free Action Alliance Executive Director Marcie Seidel: “In working with community members and many parents who have lost children to overdose, I see the impact of substance abuse disorder and the need for an increased focus on curbing the likelihood of succumbing to this devastating disease.  I believe that sweeping changes are needed to curb the crisis that we currently have in Ohio and CARA is a phenomenal commitment to making prevention, treatment and recovery to turning the corner to fight this devastating disease.” (Sen. Portman, Press Release, 2/03/2016)

Children’s Hospital Association Vice President Jim Kaufman: “On behalf of America’s children’s hospitals and the patients and families they serve, thank you for the inclusion of provisions intended to address the impact of opioid addiction on children in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 (S.524). Our nation is facing an opioid addiction crisis which is putting a strain not only on children’s health, but on America’s children’s hospitals as well. We applaud you for bringing this issue to the forefront and looking for ways to develop a comprehensive response with CARA.” (Jim Kaufman, Children’s Hospital Association, Letter to Sen. Portman, 2/18/2016)


CARA Also Supported By Law Enforcement

National Fraternal Order of Police National President Chuck Canterbury: “We believe S. 524 will help . . . give us one more tool to reduce the deaths of this epidemic. . . Too many lives have been lost to these drugs, and too many families have been torn apart, and, so, on behalf of more than the 330,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I urge the [Judiciary] Committee to favorably report this legislation.” (Chuck Canterbury, National Fraternal  Order of Police, Letter to Sens. Grassley and Leahy, 2/10/2016)

Letter From Anti-Drug Groups And District Attorneys: “As you know, heroin use and prescription opioid abuse are having devastating effects on public health and safety across the United States. . .  Every day, more than 129 Americans die as a result of drug overdose – and over half of these drug overdoses are related to prescription drugs. . . . In light of these troubling statistics, we write to express our strong support for Senate action on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 (CARA, H.R.953/S.524).” (Letter to Sens. Cornyn, McConnell, Reid, and Schumer, 2/23/2016)

  • “This bipartisan legislation . . . was developed over the past two and a half years through a cooperative process involving key national stakeholders in the public health, law enforcement, prosecutors, criminal justice, and drug policy fields, and is designed to fight prescription opioid abuse and heroin use holistically– from expanding prevention to supporting recovery. CARA would provide the resources and incentives necessary for states and local governments to expand treatment, prevention, and recovery efforts for the millions of Americans who are affected by substance use disorders.” (Letter to Sens. Cornyn, McConnell, Reid, and Schumer, 2/23/2016)

Letter signed by:

  • Seven Kentucky District Attorneys
  • Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy
  • Fifty-six New York District Attorneys
  • Twenty-four Young People in Recovery chapters in Kentucky, Nevada, New York, and Texas
  • Anti-Drug Groups from Kentucky, Nevada, New York, and Texas



Related Issues: Opioid Abuse, Law Enforcement