After the result of a recent voting, the Senate decided to pass the S. 524 Bill, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). The approved bill was passed on to the President of United States, Barrack Obama, who later signed the bill in to the law.
CARA is mainly focused on reducing the opium abuse and addiction, and implementing necessary steps to deal with this severe health issue. The increased use of opium has led to many dangerous problems among the users and the Congress was trying to minimize the use of opium and to prevent further damages.
The Bill was passed by a unanimous vote of 92-0. The Democrats had earlier expressed their reluctance to vote for the Bill, due to the inadequate funding, and initially showed their disagreement during the voting. The main reason for this disagreement was that the Democrats wanted an additional funding in emergency funding. However, they finally voted in favor of the Bill even without any additional funding.
The provisions in the Bill aim to strengthen recovery efforts, treatment, and prevention against opioid addiction and abuse. The Bill also has allowed medical professionals access to the drug naloxone, which can be prescribed during emergencies. Furthermore, the conditions also have allowed access to alternatives for opium abusers and adequate funding has also been provided to the state for developing community treatment programs.
The program CARA has received wide support from the Congress and other Senate members. Still, the Democrats have firmly stated that the estimate of $181 million passed for this program is inadequate and it falls well short of the fund required for this program. They have also shared their concerns that the inadequate funding might even result in the failure of CARA later.
On the other hand, the Republicans have guaranteed that an addition billing of $500 million will be provided for CARA’s opium abuse programs in the year 2017. However, the chances for such a Bill to pass this year are relatively less.
Reports from CDC indicate that approximately 2 million Americans depend on prescribed opioids today, and more than 14,000 individual died due to prescribed opioids overdose in the year 2014. Opioid addiction and abuse has been one of the major health concerns in the US and officials are aiming to tackle this issue effectively through CARA.