Bill to fight opioid addiction heads to President Obama

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act bill was passed in a 92-2 vote by the Senate Wednesday, The New York Times reported.

Although bipartisan disagreements over funding temporarily stalled legislation, the bill was approved by the House of Representatives last week. Now, the legislation will head to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign the bill.

The measure would expand alcohol and drug prevention education, increase collaboration with law enforcement and criminal justice systems and create more disposal and turn-in sites for unwanted prescription medications. It would also include the addition of evidence-based and medication-assisted programs, and create prescription drug monitoring programs to monitor prescription trends for indications of abuse and help at-risk individuals access critical services.

"This is a historic moment, the first time in decades that Congress has passed comprehensive addiction legislation, and the first time Congress has ever supported long-term addiction recovery," Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said, according to The New York Times. "This is also the first time that we've treated addiction like the disease that it is, which will help put an end to the stigma that has surrounded addiction for too long."

Republican lawmakers said funding for the programs the bill authorizes would be addressed in the appropriations process later in 2016, according to the report.


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