Legislation would increase funding to addiction treatment

Legislation would increase funding to addiction treatment

The bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 2.0 introduced in the U.S. Senate on Dec. 10 would increase funding levels for the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA).

CARA became law in 2016 and funds evidence-based addiction education, treatment, and recovery programs. Congress approved $658 million in funding for CARA programs in fiscal year 2020.

CARA 2.0 increases funding to $765 million. It also introduced several policy changes.

Authorization levels include $300 million for the expansion of evidence-based medication-assisted treatment, $200 million to build a national infrastructure for recovery support services, $100 million to expand treatment for pregnant and postpartum women, and $50 million to provide quality treatment for addiction in correctional facilities and community reentry

Policy changes include mandating a three-day limit on initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain, removing the limit on the number of patients a physician can treat with buprenorphine and methadone, establishes a National Commission for Excellence in Post-Overdose Response to improve the quality and safety of substance use disorders and drug overdoses care, and research into nonopioid pain management alternatives.

U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced the bill.

Numerous addiction treatment, recovery, enforcement, and prevention stakeholders support the legislation.