Drug abuse is a sweeping problem across the country. In particular, opioid abuse and overdose have come increasingly to the forefront of the country’s attention due to several distressing outbreaks in larger cities. Opioid abuse affects more than just the individuals themselves. It also affects their families, friends, neighbors, and communities.

[su_note note_color=”#e5e5e5″]In a remarkable testament to the unswerving commitment to change by the addiction prevention and recovery communities across the country including the High Desert area, the United States Senate passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, also called CARA, on July 13, 2013. The bill was passed nearly unanimously in the House of Representatives followed by another near-unanimous vote in the Senate. All that is left is for President Obama to sign it into law.[/su_note]

The Importance & Effects of CARA for Rehabilitation

CARA upholds the basic tenets of addiction prevention and recovery and underscores their effectiveness for practitioners around the country. It also approves grants for many states to further their drug abuse prevention plans, to increase the ability of practitioners to prescribe medication for drug overdoses and addiction and to improve drug monitoring programs. CARA places special emphasis on getting many types of providers on-board with treatment, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and improves the access that veterans will have to these programs through the Department of Veteran Affairs. The bill also hopes to improve education about drug abuse as well as treatment of opioid addiction to pregnant and postpartum women in an effort to improve child and family health.

While the American Society of Addiction Medication supports these measures, it also notes that these plans will only be able to be carried out if Congress follows through with its plans to fund the program fully for the remainder of this year. In addition, the Society notes that this is just one step in the right direction; while the bill provides excellent resources to states and physicians, many further changes are needed to improve drug abuse statistics throughout the country.

[su_note note_color=”#e5e5e5″]First Step Recovery Center serving patients from Phelan to Barstow sees CARA as a huge win. Drug abuse prevention is key to stopping this problem that is ravaging families and communities across the country. In addition, those who have addictions to opioids are typically unable to quit without help. We can provide treatment plans or medication treatment in an outpatient setting that is both professional and secure. With our help, individuals can lead the happy and productive lives that they were meant to live.[/su_note]