Daines Applauds Passage of Legislation to Combat Opioid Epidemic

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today applauded passage of the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) conference report, which works to combat the epidemic of opioid addiction.

“We must ensure that Montanans dealing with drug abuse and addiction have resources they need to get necessary treatment and care close to home,” Daines stated. “This bill provides needed resources for our healthcare providers, emergency responders and treatment courts to help treat and stop this epidemic.” 

“Prescription drug abuse is a national epidemic that destroys lives, shatters families, and harms our communities,” said Montana Attorney General Tim Fox. “I applaud the passage of this important legislation and I am grateful to Senator Daines for his work to help make it happen. Montana health care providers, treatment specialists, law enforcement officers, pharmacists, prevention advocates, and others have been working hard to combat prescription drug abuse, and we welcome all assistance in that fight.”

The House passed the measure by a vote of 407-5. CARA now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services’ Office of Epidemiology and Scientific Support, between 2011 and 2013, prescription drug overdoses in Montana were responsible for at least 369 deaths and more than 7,200 hospital inpatient admissions and emergency department cases. 

This legislation authorizes grants for implementing community-wide strategies in areas where opioid and methamphetamine abuse is higher than the national average, where there is a recent spike in such abuse, or there is a significant increase in opioid and methamphetamine abuse related deaths.  

In January, Daines visited the Gallatin county Treatment Court. CARA will expand Veterans Treatment Courts, and will also ensure that veterans who are discharged for substance abuse issues are also eligible to go through these programs.