WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today voted for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), bipartisan legislation that would increase prevention efforts, support law enforcement, combat overdoses and expand access to treatment. The bill, which passed 94-1, is supported by more than 130 national anti-drug groups.
“Opioid abuse is a nationwide epidemic, and too many Hoosier families have experienced the devastating effects of drug addiction,” said Coats. “There is no single solution for this problem, but addressing this crisis will require health professionals, law enforcement, parents, teachers and our local, state and federal governments all working together. This legislation is an evidence-based approach that will help combat drug abuse and assist local communities. This is an important bill that will help save lives and get assistance to those who need it.”
CARA includes a provision authored by Coats and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) that would encourage states to allow physician assistants and nurse practitioners to access state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) to reduce drug abuse. PDMPs are online patient databases that allow health care practitioners, pharmacists and law enforcement to track controlled substances prescriptions written for patients, allowing them to determine if a patient is abusing opioids. Under the Coats proposal, states would continue to retain full control over which health care professionals hold prescribing authority.
To watch Senator Coats speak about the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, click here.