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ADA, others thank Congress for efforts in curbing opioid addiction

July 20, 2016

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The ADA, the American Osteopathic Association and 81 other health groups commended the House and Senate for passing legislation to help reduce prescription opioid abuse.  

On Jul. 13, the Senate passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act by a vote of 92-2. The final version, which has also passed the House, raises awareness about the dangers of abusing opioid pain medications and includes training programs to help keep opioid pain medications from becoming a source of harm.

"We applaud the bipartisan work that led to this milestone," wrote ADA in the July 14 letter signed by 83 organizations and led by the American Osteopathic Association. "As providers, we appreciate the comprehensive framework of prevention, treatment, and recovery support that CARA's provisions can provide."

The legislation authorizes prescribers to write partial fill prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances. It also includes grants to expand pain management training and improve prescription drug monitoring programs.

The coalition noted that the legislation reflects "a shift to recognizing addiction as a disease, rather than as a crime or a moral failing. Now we must be able to ensure treatment for this disease is available to all in our country who need it.

"We therefore urge Congress to continue to build on CARA's achievements, and to next ensure that appropriate funding is made available in order for providers to have the resources they need to prevent opioid addiction from claiming more lives and causing more devastation to families and communities," concluded the letter.

President Obama intends to sign the measure when it arrives on his desk, according to a White House press release.

For more information about opioids, including upcoming webinars and subscriber tips, visit ADA.org/opioids.