Home Social Justice Attorneys general encourage Addiction and Recovery Act and urge for more support

Attorneys general encourage Addiction and Recovery Act and urge for more support

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An act aimed at ending drug overdoses cleanly jumped a hurdle recently after Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and attorney generals from 36 other states, plus the District of Columbia, urged the leadership of the U.S. Senate and House Committee on the Judiciary to pass it.

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 (CARA) was sponsored by U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and co-sponsor Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. The act would expand overdose prevention and educational efforts, help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives, expand treatment centers, expand sites to dispose of unwanted prescriptions and strengthen drug-monitoring programs with a $5 million community-based coalition grant program.

According to the information addressed in this act, more than 100 Americans die from drug overdoses every day. More than half of these overdoses are caused by heroin or prescription drugs. Drug overdoses have nearly tripled since 1990, and heroin-related drug overdoses have nearly quadrupled in the U.S. from 2002 through 2013.

Susan Awad, director of advocacy and government relations for the American Society of Addiction Medicine, supports CARA and continues to work toward getting the senators and representatives to sign it.

“We’re also participating in the UNITE to Face Addiction Advocacy Day, during which our members will meet with their senators and representatives to ask them to sign on to CARA and have hearings for it scheduled,” Awad said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not comment on the legislation, but it has fought the prescription drug overdose epidemic by monitoring drugs, strengthening state efforts and helping healthcare providers give people the tools they need to improve their health safety.

DeWine believes it is important to recognize that people need help when trying to overcome drug addiction, and that people often do not have the resources they need to overcome their addiction.

“We know that addiction is a treatable disease, but we also know that many people who need treatment are not receiving it,” DeWine said in a press release. “While heroin and opioid abuse are a primary concern here in Ohio and across the country, we must move beyond simple responses to drug trends and emerging threats and concentrate on improving addiction treatment and recovery nationwide.”

Portman believes this legislation will help people recover from drug addiction and abuse. Attorneys general who are helping this act move forward hope that the Senate and House of Representatives will pass it in the future.

“To prevent drug abuse and better help the tens of thousands of Ohioans struggling with addiction, we need a comprehensive strategy that starts from the bottom up,” Portman said in a press release. “This legislation builds on proven methods to enable law enforcement to respond to this heroin epidemic and supports long-term recovery by connecting prevention and education efforts with treatment programs.”

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