CARA 3.0 bill offers help to those battling addiction

Staff Report

DELAWARE — In 2016, Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA), and once signed into law, it provided financial and policy support necessary to take on the growing opioid addiction crisis across the country.

Since then, elements of the SUPPORT Act strengthened these efforts, and with the newly-introduced CARA 3.0 bill, there could be even more help coming to people fighting addiction.

Led by Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the CARA 3.0 bill addresses the sharp rise in addiction-related issues brought to light by a spike in suspected overdoses nationally within the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic and moves our policies further toward a model of prevention, education, treatment, and recovery rather than simply jailing addicts, a news release states.

Among CARA 3.0’s policy changes are programs that explore non-opioid pain management options for physicians, a pilot program to study the impact of mobile methadone clinics in rural and underserved areas, an expansion to federal housing access that includes individuals who have misused sentences or received criminal convictions, and many other helpful ideas and programs.

Along with the policy changes, the funding allocated from this bill will provide much-needed federal funding for research, training, court programs, treatment, and recovery programs. With this support, our criminal justice programs, which have become the front lines for tackling addiction issues, will have research-backed, evidence-based solutions at their disposal.

The Delaware-Morrow Mental Health and Recovery Services Board fully endorses Sen. Portman’s bill, and we thank him for pushing for progressive, proactive solutions to this ongoing and evolving addiction crisis.

Staff Report