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McKinley sponsors legislation to fight addiction

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative David McKinley joined with Rep. David Trone (D-MD) in introducing the bipartisan, bicameral Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 3.0 Act.

Co-chairs of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force Reps. Annie Kuster (D-NH), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and fellow co-chairs of the Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery Caucus Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH), Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Dave Joyce (R-OH) joined them as co-leads of the comprehensive addiction treatment, prevention, and recovery bill.

CARA 3.0 is aimed at mitigating the effects of COVID-19 on the addiction epidemic and will build on the original Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016 and opioid bill of 2108 by increasing funding for prevention, education, research, treatment, and recovery. U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced the bill in the Senate in March.

As we continue down the road to recovery from COVID-19, there is bipartisan agreement that more resources are necessary to turn the tide on the addiction epidemic. A CDC survey recently found that 13% of American adults started or increased their substance use to cope with emotions related to the pandemic. The original CARA Act has six evidence-based pillars: prevention, treatment, recovery, law enforcement, criminal justice reform, and overdose reversal. CARA 3.0 would strengthen these pillars and provide a solid foundation for tackling the addiction epidemic going forward.

“Over the last year, we’ve witnessed the pandemic intensify the substance use disorder epidemic in West Virginia,” said McKinley. “Our bipartisan bill builds off the critical work in CARA and the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. This legislation can provide the much-needed resources in prevention and recovery programs to help combat the substance use disorder across the country. Congress can walk and chew gum at the same time, we must stop ignoring this epidemic.”

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