Rep. Zeldin Announces that CARA, an $8.3 Billion Bill to Combat Heroin & Opioid Epidemic, Was Signed into Law by President
Patchogue, NY — Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, announced today that the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S. 524), otherwise known as CARA, that passed both the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, was signed into law by the President on Friday, July 22, 2016. Congressman Zeldin is a cosponsor of CARA and has been a vocal supporter of the bill since it was first introduced in the House.
CARA provides a total of $8.3 billion in funding to help combat the heroin and opioid epidemic. Some provisions of the bill include: $80 million in funding to help prevent and treat addiction on a local level through community-based education, prevention, treatment and recovery programs; $160 million for the expansion of medication-assisted treatment options; and $103 million to establish a community-based competitive grant program to address and treat the problems of heroin and opioid addiction and abuse. The bill will also provide funding necessary to expand prescription drug monitoring across the country, and provide funding to supply our police force and emergency medical responders with higher quantities of Naloxone, a medication that is proven to reverse an opioid overdose.
Congressman Zeldin said, “I am proud to announce that the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which will provide $8.3 billion in funding to help combat the growing heroin and opioid epidemic on Long Island and nationwide, has been signed into law. Since the introduction of CARA, as a member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, I worked closely with my colleagues in the House, and members of our local community, to ensure that this bill to increase treatment and recovery services for those suffering, and provide the proper education and resources at a local level, was passed and signed into law. Every day, 78 people lose their life as a result of an opioid or heroin overdose. Last year, on Long Island alone, 442 people died of a heroin or opiate overdose, which is up from 403 overdose deaths the year before. This new law is an important step in the fight to combat this growing epidemic. Our communities and families on Long Island have been severely impacted by the rise of prescription drug abuse and the growing epidemic of heroin, and I will continue working with local elected officials, law enforcement, health professionals, community groups, parents, concerned residents and those in recovery, to discuss and develop a more localized solution to address this crisis by increasing treatment and recovery services, education, and stopping the influx of illegal substances.”
In July of 2015, and May of 2016, Congressman Zeldin hosted two press conferences where he joined with local elected officials, community groups and concerned residents to urge support for CARA and other legislation that he has been advocating for to help fight against the growing drug epidemic. The Congressman also hosted a free public community summit in November of 2015 to discuss the rise of drug abuse on Long Island, as well as treatment and prevention efforts, with a panel of parents, educators, healthcare professionals, law enforcement officials, local elected officials and recovering substance abusers.