Obama Administration Experts Back Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery ActDespite political statements from the White House, the experts in the Obama administration who deal with drug policy every day strongly support the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (S. 524), bipartisan legislation designed to ensure that federal resources are devoted to evidence-based education, treatment and recovery programs that work. Here’s the transcript from the January 27, 2016, hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee where leading administration experts all expressed support for the measure:
Senator Whitehouse: Finally, I assume that all of the witnesses on this panel support the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. But if you could confirm that for the record, I would appreciate it.
Mr. Botticelli (Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy): There is clear evidence that a comprehensive response looking at multidimensional aspects of this that are embedded in the CARA Act are tremendously important. We know we need to do more, and I think that all of those components put forward in the bill are critically important to make headway in terms of this epidemic.
Senator Whitehouse: Agreed?
Dr. Volkow (Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse): We support the comprehensive program delineated, and it is one of the strategies to address the problem.
Ms. Enomoto (Acting Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration): At SAMHSA we are so excited to be able to implement programs like medication-assisted treatment, prescription drug and opioid addiction, which Congress appropriated in 2015 and then another increase in 2016, which is very similar to some of the programs that were described in the CARA Act. Thank you, Senator Whitehouse, for your leadership on this issue and continued support of our mission. We believe that the public health approach of the CARA Act is vitally important to moving forward on the issue.
Senator Whitehouse: Mr. Milione?
Mr. Milione (Deputy Assistant Administrator Drug Enforcement Administration Office of Diversion Control): Senator Whitehouse, I am happy to work with you or anyone on any legislation that will help with this epidemic.
Senator Whitehouse: Very good. Thank you very much.
The administration’s drug experts support the bill because they know it helps promote education and prevention so we can stop drug abuse before it begins. They know it helps promote treatment alternatives and reverse overdoses. They know it helps veterans. They know it focuses on women and babies, as Senator Portman wrote in the Washington Examiner this week.
They also know that more than 130 national anti-drug groups support the bill, including the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, Faces and Voices of Recovery, the Children's Hospital Association, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the Fraternal Order of Police, the National District Attorneys Association and the Major County Sheriffs Association.The facts speak for themselves, and Senator Portman will continue his work to pass this bill because it will make a real difference in the lives of Ohio families.