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Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council applauds Congress for addressing the nation's prescription opioid crisis by passing the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). This bipartisan-supported legislation will save thousands from the most fatal drug epidemic in recorded U.S. history.
Prescription opioid abuse accounted for nearly 19,000 deaths in 2014 and has fueled an unprecedented rise in preventable deaths across the nation.[i] We know the cure for this public health crisis. Increasing access to naloxone and medication-assisted treatment, improving prescription drug monitoring programs, implementing prescriber guidelines and creating public education campaigns all are key steps toward saving lives. The Council is pleased to see that CARA includes actions to address each of these issues.
This bill makes a strong statement about our leaders' commitment to ending opioid abuse; however, it cannot be an effective roadmap to recovery without proper funding. Congress must ensure funds are available to carry out these actions and implement effective programs. Without those funds, efforts will stall and lives will be lost.
Unacceptably, only four states are making notable progress in the fight against opioid abuse, according to the recent National Safety Council report, Prescription Nation. Twenty-eight states received a "failing" grade. This legislation will provide states with the life-saving resources necessary to make a down payment on our future and end opioid overdoses nationwide.
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council, nsc.org, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.
[i] According to Injury Facts 2016
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