President Obama signed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) into law Friday.
The $181 million bill authorizes funding to help fight the heroin and prescription opioid crisis across the country. The funding will be used to create programs for prevention, treatment and recovery.
The Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, which was co-chaired and co-founded by Congressman Frank Guinta (R-NH) and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH) was a major force behind the passage of the bill.
Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) co-authored the bill and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) co-sponsored the bill.
Guinta, Kuster, Ayotte and Shaheen all released statements on the signing of the bill into law.
Kelly Ayotte —
“Today marks a critical turning point for the New Hampshire families, advocacy groups, first responders, and all those who have fought tirelessly against this devastating crisis. CARA is such an important step in this battle, and I’ve been proud to work with my colleagues and so many incredible people and groups in New Hampshire for more than two years to get this legislation passed. Utilizing the programs and resources focused on prevention, treatment, recovery, and support for first responders that CARA provides, I know we will be able to start turning the tide of addiction and help save lives.”
Jeanne Shaheen —
“Today, the President signed into law good bipartisan legislation that is an important step toward addressing the opioid addiction epidemic that is overwhelming communities in New Hampshire and across the country. CARA is the product of hard work and negotiations, but while it’s progress, it unfortunately lacks the funding desperately needed by law enforcement and treatment professionals on the front lines of this crisis. There is simply no excuse for Congress providing billions in emergency funding for the Ebola and swine flu epidemics, while shortchanging the fight against an opioid epidemic that’s killing a person a day in the Granite State.? I will continue to do everything I can to pass legislation to provide the long overdue funding necessary to stem the opioid crisis.”
Frank Guinta —
“CARA is the product of years of hard word by Granite Staters like Melissa Crews, Doug Griffin and Abi Lizotte, as well as over 80 republican and democrat members of the Task Force, to reform federal addiction policy. In the midst of a nationwide heroin and opioid crisis, particularly affecting New Hampshire, we were able to speed major reforms through Congress to bring those suffering from drug abuse help — and prevent others from turning to drugs in the first place. CARA is based on a modern understanding of addiction, a disease, and ensures federal funds will produce real results.”
Annie Kuster —
“Today, following months of hard work by me and my colleagues in Congress, President Obama signed into law an important piece of bipartisan legislation that will go far to address the opioid epidemic that is killing our loved ones and tearing apart our communities. This law represents a significant step forward in the battle against the opioid epidemic. It provides critical support for law enforcement, treatment providers and others on the front lines of this battle here in New Hampshire and all across the country.
“I remain disappointed and concerned that this law does not include additional emergency funding to address the epidemic. But, the partial funding and programs it does include will help give communities the crucial tools they need to save lives. Now that it has become law, CARA will help increase access to life-saving medication like buprenophrine by allowing nurse practitioners to administer the drug. It will create new grant programs for treatment facilities that are in desperate in need of funds; and it authorizes $180 million for community members tackling the epidemic on the ground.
“Through the appropriations process, I will continue to advocate for the additional funds and resources our communities need. But, today, I commend the President and my colleagues in Congress for coming together to pass this historic legislation and take this important step toward bringing an end to the heroin epidemic.”