WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today applauded the Senate’s passage of comprehensive legislation to help fight the drug epidemic. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which passed the Senate on a 92-2 vote, takes a broad step forward in the national response to the drug crisis and includes several provisions that will help West Virginia. The bill now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

“We can all agree that the drug epidemic is crushing American communities and it has to stop. This is especially true in West Virginia, where we have the unfortunate distinction of leading the nation in overdose deaths,” said Senator Capito. “I have worked tirelessly with my colleagues in the Senate, with health and law enforcement professionals in West Virginia, and with individual families and advocates to develop a spectrum of solutions to curb this epidemic. This bill reflects those efforts and includes several provisions that will bring us closer to reversing this trend. I urge the president to swiftly sign this critical legislation in to law.”

Senator Capito secured several provisions in this anti-drug legislation that address the needs of West Virginia’s communities. These include:

  • Making follow-up services for people who have received opioid overdose reversal drugs an allowable use of grant funding.
  • Requiring the Attorney General to expand or make available disposal sites for unwanted prescription drugs. 
  • Providing safer and more effective pain management services to our nation’s veterans.
  • Reauthorizing and updating a grant program supporting residential treatment for pregnant and postpartum women with a substance use disorder.
  • Requiring a U.S. Government Accountability Office report on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) to help the youngest victims of the drug epidemic.
  • Authorizing grants to encourage co-prescribing of naloxone, a drug to reverse the effects of opioid overdose, along with prescription opioids, and grants to support development of co-prescribing guidelines.
  • Allowing the partial fill of opioid prescriptions.
  • Convening a Pain Management Best Practices Interagency Task Force to review, modify and update best practices for prescribing pain medication and managing chronic and acute pain.

As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Capito continues to work to provide additional funding and resources to combat opioid abuse. Through recently passed appropriations bills, discretionary funding to address heroin and opioid abuse will more than double 2015 levels.

To continue to raise awareness about the drug epidemic and its effect on small and rural states, Senator Capito is encouraging those who have been personally impacted by addiction to share their story on her website. Learn more here.