Granger, Ind. — Several of U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly’s bipartisan provisions became law as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) that President Obama signed this evening. Donnelly’s provisions signed into law were adopted from his bipartisan legislation to update best prescribing practices and raise public awareness, as well as a bipartisan provision he authored that would encourage first responder units to connect individuals who receive naloxone with treatment or other necessary services.
Donnelly said, “Meaningful, bipartisan legislation to address the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemics is now law. It will help save lives and make a difference for families and communities in Indiana and across our country. This law is an important step forward and it demonstrates the kind of progress we can make when we work together.”
CARA will provide states and local communities with important tools to prevent and treat drug addiction and support individuals in recovery. Donnelly believes CARA is an important step, but it’s also necessary to fund programs and initiatives to combat the opioid abuse epidemic. He said during a Senate floor speech earlier this month, “Make no mistake, there is work left to do to ensure that our communities have the resources and funding to implement many of these important programs.”
Background on Senator Donnelly’s work to combat the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemics:
For more than two years, Donnelly has been working to address the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemics in Indiana and across the country. He has listened to Hoosiers, introduced bipartisan legislation, partnered with federal, state, and local officials, and brought together stakeholders.
After Donnelly introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) in June 2014 that would take a multi-pronged approach to addressing these epidemics, including to update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication, Congresswoman Susan Brooks (IN-05) helped introduce similar legislation in the House.
Donnelly and Brooks have held two roundtables on the opioid abuse epidemic: the first in September 2015, with federal, state, and local public health officials, doctors, and pharmacists to discuss the role providers play in helping to address the opioid abuse problem; the second in April 2016, with Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) doctors, professors, faculty and medical residents, to learn more about IUSM’s efforts to educate and train medical students, residents, and current physicians on best prescribing practices, pain management, substance abuse, and treating addiction.
In June 2016, Donnelly held a roundtable in Northwest Indiana focused on drug abuse prevention efforts with federal, state, and local officials to discuss federal and local partnerships and programs that are at work.