APA Applauds Congressional Passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

ARLINGTON, Va. – Today the American Psychiatric Association (APA) praised the Senate’s overwhelming vote yesterday in support of comprehensive legislation addressing the national opioid crisis. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, S.524, was overwhelmingly approved by the House last week. The measure now goes to President Obama for his anticipated approval.

"We are encouraged by the bipartisan support for this legislation—it encompasses many critical first steps toward fighting the nationwide opioid use epidemic," said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. "But we cannot stop here. These programs must be fully funded to be effective. APA looks forward to continuing to work with Congress to curb this epidemic."

Nearly 2.5 million people in the U.S. have a substance use disorder involving heroin or prescription pain relievers, and more than 29,000 overdose deaths in 2014 were related to heroin or prescription pain relievers.

The Comprehensive Addition and Recovery Act includes a range of measures to address the growing addiction problem, among them:

  • Provides grants to expand access to life-saving opioid overdose reversal drugs (such as naloxone) and to expand access to addiction treatment services, including evidence-based medication-assisted treatment.
  • Provides grants to community organizations to develop and enhance recovery services and build connections with other recovery support systems.
  • Provides grants to states to carry out comprehensive opioid abuse response, including education, treatment, and recovery efforts, prescription drug monitoring programs, and efforts to prevent overdose deaths.

The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose 36,500 physician members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses, including substance use disorders.

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