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Senator Amy Klobuchar introduces new plans to an old legislation

Senator Amy Klobuchar wants to fight the opioid epidemic with a new federal bill

Posted: Mar 19, 2018 10:51 PM
Updated: Mar 20, 2018 8:28 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn.- Senator Amy Klobuchar held a conference on Sunday March 18 to discuss a federal bill that will tackle the opioid crisis.

Senator Klobuchar discussed revamping the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act better known as C.A.R.A. It would be called C.A.R.A.2.0.

We spoke to a recovering opioid addict who later became a clinical director for a outpatient treatment center called Common Ground. Eric Spagenski said he’s in support for the bill that would help fund treatment programs for people who are dealing with addiction.

“I thank programs in Minnesota for helping me.”

He said more programs now are treating addiction like it’s a choice.

“You don't choose to be addicted to opioids,” said Spagenski “There’s more to it”

He also adds that treating Opioid addiction should be like how people treat illnesses.

“When you have heart disease or diabetes, you don't just do treat it in one sitting. You change things for the long term.”

Below is the information about the new bill from Klobuchar’s website.

CARA 2.0 Policy Reforms:
• Imposes three-day limit on initial opioid prescriptions for acute pain as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with exceptions for chronic pain or pain for other ongoing illnesses.
• Makes permanent Section 303 of CARA which allows physician assistance and nurse practitioners to prescribe buprenorphine under the direction of a qualified physician.
• Allows states to waive the limit on the number patients a physician can treat with buprenorphine so long as they follow evidence-based guidelines. There is currently a cap of 100 patients per physician.
• Require physicians and pharmacists use their state PDMP upon prescribing or dispensing opioids.
• Increases civil and criminal penalties for opioid manufacturers that fail to report suspicious orders for opioids or fail to maintain effective controls against diversion of opioids.
• Creates a national standard for recovery residence to ensure quality housing for individuals in long-term recovery.
CARA 2.0 Authorization Levels:
• $10 million to fund a National Education Campaign on the dangers of prescription opioid misuse, heroin, and lethal fentanyl (up from $5 million in the original CARA).
• $300 million to expand evidence-based medication-assisted treatment (up from $25 million in the original CARA).
• $300 million to expand first responder training and access to naloxone (up from $12 million in the original CARA).
• $200 million to build a national infrastructure for recovery support services to help individuals move successfully from treatment into long-term recovery (up from $1 million in the original CARA).
• $20 million to expand Veterans Treatment Courts (up from 6$ million in the original CARA).
• $100 million to expand treatment for pregnant and postpartum women, including facilities that allow children to reside with their mothers (up from $17.9 million in the original CARA).
• $60 million to help states develop an Infant Plan of Safe Care to assist states, hospitals and social services to report, track and assist newborns exposed to substances and their families (no authorization in the original CARA).
• $10 million for a National Youth Recovery Initiative to develop, support, and maintain youth recovery support services (no authorization in the original CARA).
Find more information about the bill here.

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