On March 10th, the United States Senate passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 2015 by a 94 to 1 vote. If you are not up on your addiction recovery advocacy and are unfamiliar with CARA 2015, the bill is the most expansive federal, bipartisan legislation to date for addiction support services and designated up to $80 million towards advancing addiction treatment and addiction recovery support services in both state and local communities nationwide.

There is little doubt that the growing nationwide addiction crisis is at a tipping point and politicians feel an increased sense of urgency to try to offer solutions to the growing problem. In the coming weeks, with CARA 2015 having passed through the Senate, the bill will be brought to and voted on in the House of Representatives.

Some main points of emphasis of CARA 2015 are that it grants the White Houses’ Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) the ability to grant money for drug and alcohol prevention programs. Additionally, CARA increases the available resources for the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone. Also, CARA opens up more ability for education and prevention programs in high schools and for the young adult and adolescent population.

The passage of CARA 2015 through the Senate is a great start for the addiction recovery advocacy movement and for beginning to find solutions to the nationwide opioid and addiction epidemic. However, it is just that, a start. More needs to be done. We must increase quality comprehensive treatment options and then increase access to that treatment. We must begin to demand that the parity granted by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is enforced, making insurance companies treat addiction like any other disease and providing adequate payment for treatment. More must be done to break the stigma of addiction, so that the shame of addiction and mental health is decreased and those individuals and families in need can openly reach out for the help they desperately need.

Getting CARA 2015 through the Senate by an overwhelming majority was an amazing first step in the fight against addiction and the support for recovery in America. Next it is on the House of Representatives. The tide is turning in America, if only ever so slowly. It is vitally important that those individuals, families, professionals and all touched by the disease of addiction or who are currently in recovery continue to that their voices be heard.

If you or someone you know is in need of help because of drug and/or alcohol abuse or addiction, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis substance abuse treatment in the Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at Contact us today. For more information on all of our drug addiction and alcohol addiction services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.

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