March 14, 2022

Whitehouse and Portman Cheer $946 Million for CARA Programs to Bolster Opioid Epidemic Fight

Senate addiction-recovery leaders secure record funding for grants through their Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act

Washington, DC – Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) – authors of the groundbreaking Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and CARA 2.0 laws – applaud the $946 million for CARA grants included in the FY 2022 government appropriations measure, a 21 percent increase over FY 2021. The record funding will strengthen the federal government’s response to the addiction crisis and deepen CARA’s reach into communities where the crisis rages.

“The addiction epidemic has taken an enormous toll on families and communities across Rhode Island,” said Whitehouse. “My CARA bill with Senator Portman was the most wide-ranging federal addiction legislation ever passed, and this record funding boost will ensure that the health care and public safety personnel on the front lines of this crisis have the resources required to help our neighbors in need.”

“We’ve seen a heartbreaking surge in overdose deaths as a result of the pandemic, and that’s why I’m proud that Congress has acted to make a significant investment in CARA programs that help our local communities respond effectively. This $946 million will help state and local health officials, prevention experts, treatment providers, and law enforcement to work together to help save lives,” said Portman. “Prior to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had made significant progress in combating this epidemic thanks to CARA and this funding will help us redouble our efforts. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to make sure those on the ground, our community leaders, first responders, and family members have the support and funding they need to continue their work fighting this epidemic. In the new Congress, we have a unique opportunity to work together in a bipartisan way and I believe that CARA 3.0 can help us strengthen our efforts to combat this epidemic.”

For years, Whitehouse and Portman have helped lead the charge in Congress to fight the national opioid addiction crisis. CARA, signed into law in 2016, ensures that federal resources are devoted to evidence-based education, treatment and recovery programs that work. Several key provisions of the Senators’ CARA 2.0 were enacted as part of the SUPPORT Act on October 24, 2018. Last March, the Senators introduced CARA 3.0 to increase the funding authorization levels of CARA programs and put in place additional policy reforms to help combat the opioid epidemic that has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rich Davidson, 202-228-6291 (press office)

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921