National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Skip to content National Council for Mental Wellbeing
Find a Provider
National Council for Mental Wellbeing logo
Your source for the latest updates from Capitol Hill. We translate policy into practice so you can learn how policy trends will affect your work and how best to prepare.

Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Portman, Whitehouse Introduce Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

September 18, 2014 | Addictions | Comments
Share on LinkedIn

New legislation introduced in Congress would provide a series of resources and incentives to help states and local governments expand drug treatment, prevention, and recovery efforts. Authored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2014 would:

  • Expand prevention and educational efforts—particularly aimed at teens, parents and other caretakers, and aging populations—to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery.
  • Expand the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders to help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives.
  • Expand resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction disorders promptly by collaborating with criminal justice stakeholders and by providing evidence-based treatment.
  • Launch an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and interventions program to expand treatment best practices throughout the country.
  • Strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs to help states monitor and track prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals access services.
  • Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the hands of our children and adolescents.

“In Rhode Island, more than 100 people have died from drug overdoses already this year,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “This legislation identifies a series of specific steps that will help us combat addiction and support those in recovery, and provides the tools needed for states and local governments – in coordination with law enforcement, educators, and others – to take them.  It’s a comprehensive approach to a problem that demands our full attention.”

“We’ve learned that we can’t keep people from falling into the traps of addiction through a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach,” said Senator Portman.  “In order to prevent drug abuse and better help the tens of thousands of Ohioans struggling with addiction, we need a comprehensive strategy that starts from the grassroots up.  This legislation builds on proven methods to enable law enforcement to respond to this heroin epidemic and supports long-term recovery by connecting prevention and education efforts with treatment programs.”

Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) are original cosponsors of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. The National Council strongly supports this legislation. We commend Senators Portman, Whitehouse, Klobuchar, Ayotte, and Leahy for their attention to the important issue of substance use prevention and treatment, and pledge to work closely with them to advance this bill to passage.