Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) today reintroduced the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which provides for a robust response to the twin epidemics of opioid and heroin addiction that includes prevention, law enforcement strategies and the expansion of evidence-based treatment. CARA is the first piece of legislation introduced as part of Congressman Sensenbrenner’s over-criminalization package.

Original cosponsors of CARA are Reps. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Tom Marino (R-Pa.), Bobby Scott (D-Va.), David Joyce (R-Ohio), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Steve Chabot (R-Ohio).

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner: “Too many Americans are falling into the addiction trap. It must be addressed effectively and expeditiously. With this legislation, we have an opportunity to build on proven methods that enable law enforcement to respond to this epidemic and support long-term recovery.”

Congressman Tim Ryan: “As Co-Chair of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus, I understand the damage substance abuse inflicts upon the nation. In my state of Ohio, fatal drug overdoses have been the leading cause of accidental death since 2007. Heroin and opiate addiction is destroying lives, disrupting families and destabilizing communities – it is imperative that we begin to stem this tide. The provisions in this legislation are proven to work and I call on Congress to act now and pass this important legislation.”

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

CARA is supported by more than 90 organizations, including the National District Attorneys Association, the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD), Faces and Voices of Recovery, the National Council for Behavioral Health, and the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, among others.