Blackburn Introduces Bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act 2.0 to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Congressman Marsha Blackburn, as the lead sponsor, introduced the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 2.0 with Representatives Tim Ryan (OH), Tom MacArthuer (NJ), and Ann Kuster (NH). This updated version of CARA will authorize approximately $1 billion in new funding to fight the opioid war and increases criminal penalties on manufacturers that don't report suspicious orders or keep proper diversion protocols in place. In addition, it places a three day limit on initial prescriptions for acute pain, provides enhanced first responder training and funds the expansion of specialized courts to treat our nation's ill-served Veterans. This bill will serve as the House companion to bipartisan legislation recently introduced by Senator Rob Portman (OH).
"The opioid epidemic has been tearing apart communities in Tennessee for well over a decade," said Blackburn. "President Trump recently declared a national health emergency and it is time for Republicans and Democrats in Congress to follow suit. My heart breaks for families that have lost loved ones because of the opioid scourge. CARA 2.0 will provide an onslaught of resources in addition to the $6 billion of new opioid funding for prevention and law enforcement services that I both fought and voted for as part of the budget agreement President Trump signed into law last February. I'm pleased to have bipartisan cosponsors and to once again be working with my colleagues in the House and Senate."
"As Co-Chair of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus, I understand the damage the opioid epidemic causes in neighborhoods in every zip code each and every day. In my state of Ohio, fatal drug overdoses have been the leading cause of accidental death since 2007. Heroin and opiate addiction is destroying lives, disrupting families, and destabilizing communities. It is imperative that we work to stem this tide. CARA 2.0 will provide a number of new resources for treatment and law enforcement, as well as an additional $6 billion in funding to our communities. I am proud to be a part of this bipartisan legislation," said Congressman Ryan.
"The opioid crisis is devastating communities and families across the United States at an alarming rate. More than 174 Americans die as a result of overdose every day. As co-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, I've heard countless stories from those who have lost loved ones because of substance abuse. Congress must do more to help our communities. This bipartisan legislation will provide critical resources to combat this epidemic and I'm grateful members of both parties have come together to support it," said MacArthur.
"The opioid epidemic is devastating families and communities in New Hampshire and across the country," said Kuster. "This isn't a partisan issue; both Republicans and Democrats recognize the need for a comprehensive response that matches the seriousness of this emergency. The legislation we're introducing today will help to direct critical resources to those on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic and boost innovative, creative programs that will help tackle this crisis."