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March 11, 2016
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Alabama Attorney General
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
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(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange praised the U.S. Senate for its passage
of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). The legislation is designed to provide
states with the necessary tools to more effectively confront the growing challenge of heroin and
opioid abuse and addiction. CARA passed the U.S. Senate 94 to 1 on Thursday, and a companion bill
awaits a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Attorney General Strange and Attorneys General from 37 states plus the District of Columbia sent
letters in September of 2015 urging the judiciary committees of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of
Representatives to pass CARA. In Alabama, the Attorney General’s 2015 Law Enforcement Summit,
which involved approximately 700 officers from across the state, focused on new ways to combat
illegal drugs through education and enforcement methods.
“While stronger enforcement is needed to reduce the disastrous impact of illegal drugs upon our
society, we must also address the reality of addiction including the availability of effective treatment,”
Attorney General Strange said. “The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act provides a
nationwide plan to tackle drug addiction with the goal of saving lives. We are grateful to the Senate
for its passage of this legislation and urge the U.S. House to give CARA swift approval.”
The legislation includes provisions to:

  • 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;
  • Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the
    hands of children and adolescents;
  • Launch an evidence-based opioids and heroin treatment and intervention program to
    assist in treatment and recovery throughout the country; and
  • Strengthen prescription drug-monitoring programs to help states monitor and track
    prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals access services.

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