Carper Statement on Passage of Legislation to Address America’s Opioid and Heroin Epidemic

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement after the Senate approved the House-Senate conference report for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), legislation to battle the nation’s opioid and heroin epidemic. The bill will now be sent to President Obama for his signature. 

“Our country’s prescription drug and heroin epidemic has caused irreparable harm to families and communities alike. Far too often, we are reminded of its heartbreaking human toll. Overdoses of opioid pain relievers and heroin kill thousands of Americans each year, and these drugs are to blame for more deaths in this country than any other legal or illegal drug. In Delaware, we know all too well how addiction to opioids and heroin ruins the lives of individuals and breaks the hearts of their families who are witnesses to their struggle.

“This legislation contains a lot of good proposals to help us combat our country’s opioid and heroin epidemic, but makes no investment in making the programs we’ve authorized today a reality. Without any funding for these programs, these proposals are just well-intentioned words on paper. For the individuals who are suffering and struggling with addiction, and for the people who love them, our good intentions fall far too short from the opportunity Congress had to make real progress in addressing this heartbreaking epidemic.

“However, I remain optimistic that my colleagues in Congress will work together to keep the promises we’ve made to the American people in this bill. By providing robust funding for the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services in the appropriations process, they can do the work we’ve asked of them and help save the lives of tens of thousands of Americans each year. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that we make the investments needed to address this crisis.”