WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has awarded a $50,000 CARA Local Drug Crisis grant to PreventionFIRST! to help implement comprehensive community-wide strategies to address the local drug crisis and prevent substance abuse in youth. The funds for this project were made available by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA), which Brown supported and secured provisions for.
“We can’t end this public health crisis without first educating our youth about the dangers of substance abuse,” Brown said. “This much needed investment will help PreventionFIRST! ensure Greater Cincinnati youth have the tools and resources they need to make better decisions and prevent substance abuse.”
Brown is co-sponsoring Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-OH) bill, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA 2.0), to build on CARA by increasing the funding authorization levels for CARA’s evidence-based programs to better coincide with the recent budget agreement and laying out new policy reforms to strengthen the federal government’s response to this crisis. CARA 2.0 will authorize $1 billion in dedicated resources to evidence-based prevention, enforcement, treatment, and recovery programs.
CARA 2.0 also includes provisions from Brown’s Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment Act (TREAT Act), which would make permanent increased access to medication-assisted therapy (MAT) by allowing qualified physicians to treat larger numbers of patients struggling with addiction, and extend authority for certain nurse practitioners and physician assistants to administer MAT.
In addition to Brown’s provisions, CARA 2.0 includes $10 million in new funding for a National Youth Recovery Initiative to develop, support, and maintain youth recovery support services, not previously authorized in the original legislation.
In April, Brown called for a comprehensive, coordinated, and sustained public health campaign to address the opioid epidemic.