Special Update: NASADAD releases analysis of comprehensive SUD legislation

October 13, 2014

NASADAD releases section-by-section analysis of comprehensive SUD bill by Sens. Portman (R-OH) and Whitehouse (D-RI)

The bill, the “Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2014 (S. 2839),” was introduced by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) on September 17th. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) co-sponsored the legislation. In announcing the bill, Sen. Portman said, “We’ve learned that we can’t keep people from falling into the traps of addiction through a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach…We need a comprehensive strategy that starts from the grassroots up.” Senator Whitehouse echoed Mr. Portman’s sentiments saying, “In Rhode Island, more than 100 people have died from drug overdoses already this year. This legislation identifies a series of specific steps that will help us combat addiction and support those in recovery, and provides the tools needed for States and local governments…It’s a comprehensive approach to a problem that demands our full attention.”

The bill includes six titles and a variety of initiatives related to prevention, treatment, recovery, criminal justice, and fatal overdose prevention. The provisions address a wide range of topics including prescribing best practices; treatment alternatives to incarceration; medication-assisted treatment; recovery services for youth and recovery communities; population-specific initiatives that focus on pregnant and parenting women, families, veterans, and individuals involved in the criminal justice system; and other comprehensive approaches to reducing opioid misuse. Some key provisions include the following:

  • Evidence-Based Opioid and Heroin Treatment and Interventions Demonstration: This grant program would be housed within the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The program would allow the Director of CSAT to award grants to agencies or organizations, including State substance abuse agencies, to expand access to evidence-based substance use disorder treatment, including medication-assisted treatment. The bill authorizes $10 million for fiscal year 2016 and any additional funds deemed necessary for each of the fiscal years 2016-2020.
  • Competitive Grants to Address Opioid and Heroin Abuse by Pregnant and Parenting Female Offenders: This grant program would be jointly awarded to a State substance abuse agency and State criminal justice agency to expand State services for pregnant and parenting female offenders who use opioids, heroin, and other drugs. The two agencies may use grant funds to facilitate or enhance collaboration between the two agencies in order to carry out programs that address the use of opioids by pregnant and parenting women offenders. The bill authorizes $5 million for each of the fiscal years 2016-2020.
  • Law Enforcement Naloxone Training Implementation Pilot: This grant program would make grants available to create law enforcement pilot programs to prevent opioid overdose deaths. State, local, or tribal law enforcement agencies would be eligible to apply for grants to be used to purchase naloxone, train and provide resources for law enforcement officers on carrying and administering naloxone, and establish mechanisms for referrals to treatment. Applicants must describe how law enforcement agencies would coordinate with their State substance abuse agency to identify protocols and resources that are available to victims and families, including information on treatment and recovery resources. The bill authorizes $5 million for each of the fiscal years 2016-2020.
  • National Education Campaign: This grant program would award grants to States, units of local government, or nonprofit organizations to expand educational efforts to prevent substance abuse, understand addiction as a chronic disease, and promote treatment and recovery. The educational and prevention efforts can be focused on parents and caretakers, teenagers, college students/college-age individuals, adults, and older adults. The funds may be used for primary prevention and/or the promotion of treatment and recovery. The bill authorizes $2.5 million for each of the fiscal years 2016-2020.

The complete section-by-section analysis is available on the NASADAD website and provides a description of all of the initiatives proposed in the bill.