Sen. Portman announces FY 2021 bipartisan funding agreement for CARA Programs

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U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) announced Monday that the final 2021 Fiscal Year funding agreement would include $782 million in grants for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA).

Portman previously introduced the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 2.0 that would increase the original law’s funding authorization levels for the original law enacted in 2016. CARA 2.0 would also include additional policy reforms to help combat the opioid epidemic that has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, Portman’s office said.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a heartbreaking surge in overdose deaths, and that’s why I’m glad Congress has acted to increase CARA funding to help make a difference and save lives throughout Ohio. This $782 million will help state and local health officials, prevention experts, treatment providers, and law enforcement to work together to address this epidemic,” Portman said. “Prior to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had made significant progress in combating this epidemic thanks to CARA, and this funding will help us redouble our efforts. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to make sure those on the ground, our community leaders, first responders, and family members have the support and funding they need to continue their work fighting this epidemic. In the new Congress, we have a unique opportunity to work together in a bipartisan way, and I believe that CARA 2.0 can help us strengthen our efforts to combat this epidemic.”

The bill would increase to $42 million the number of grants for providing Naloxone to first responders and would increase to $102 million the amount allocated for expanded drug treatment. Additionally, CARA 2.0 would allocate $369 million – more than three times the original $103 million allocated in 2016 – to the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program.

However, grants for co-prescribing Naloxone would stay at the original $1 million level passed in 2016. That funding level has remained constant throughout the life of the legislation.

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