Tags: Rob Portman | CARA | opiod | addiction

Portman: Federal CARA Law Partners Government with Opioid Addiction Fight

 (YouTube/GOPWeeklyAddress)

By    |   Saturday, 30 July 2016 05:09 PM

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), signed into law over a week ago, will make the federal government a "better partner" in the fight against the growing opioid addiction epidemic in the United States, Sen. Rob Portman said in Saturday's weekly GOP address.

"It starts by recognizing that addiction is a disease--and must be treated that way," the Ohio Republican said. "By helping end the stigma that has surrounded addiction for too long, we can encourage more people to come forward and get the treatment that they need."

More than 120 Americans die every day from a drug overdose, Portman said, making it the No. 1 cause of accidental death in the nation, surpassing even car accidents.

"It's getting worse," said Portman. "It's only July, and already, in some Ohio cities, we've had more people die from overdoses than in all of 2015. And as tragic as that is, it's only part of the problem."

The opioid epidemic, in addition to overdose deaths, is also causing suffering nationwide, said Portman, with people losing jobs, having broken relationships with their family and friends, or turning to crime to pay for their addictions.

"In Ohio alone, some 200,000 people are struggling with addiction," said Portman. "The numbers are overwhelming. And behind the numbers are shattered dreams."

The stories cross all income levels and know "no ZIP code or walk of life. It's everywhere," said Portman. "Fighting it is going to require all of us to work together."

CARA, a bipartisan approach crafted over three years, is based over real-world evidence of what will work, said Portman, and encompasses ideas from people "in recovery from addiction, from treatment counselors, prevention experts, law enforcement, doctors and nurses, and from family members.

The act recognizes addiction as a disease, Portman said, specifying it must be treated that way. It will increase the federal government's investment in opioid programs by $181 million a year, more than double what was invested just a couple of years ago.

It expands educational efforts, creates a new national campaign linking prescription painkillers and heroin abuse; and expands treatment, including the availability to obtain Narcan, a drug which immediately reverses drug overdose.

"CARA is the first federal law to support long-term recovery," said Portman. "More than 250 groups from around the country in the public health, law enforcement, criminal justice and drug policy fields have endorsed CARA, and it passed both houses of Congress with strong bipartisan votes."

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The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), signed into law over a week ago, will make the federal government a better partner in the fight against the growing opioid addiction epidemic in the United States, Sen. Rob Portman said in Saturday's weekly GOP...
Rob Portman, CARA, opiod, addiction
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2016-09-30
Saturday, 30 July 2016 05:09 PM
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