Sarbanes Co-Sponsors Groundbreaking Effort to Combat Opioid Crisis

Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today co-sponsored the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, a landmark bill that would provide families and communities across America with sweeping, significant and sustained resources to address the opioid epidemic.

“This wide-ranging effort will finally deliver the resources that communities in Maryland and across the country need to address this devastating crisis,” said Congressman Sarbanes, who has introduced and helped pass several important initiatives to combat the opioid crisis, including the Co-Prescribing to Reduce Overdoses Act and the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act. “By tackling the opioid epidemic in a holistic manner, we can ensure that individuals suffering from addiction have access to lifesaving recovery and support services.”

The CARE Act would help expand addiction treatment and recovery services, boost medical training for health care professionals and increase access to overdose reversal drugs by providing communities across the country with $10 billion per year over ten years to fight the opioid crisis, including:

  • $4 billion to states, territories, and tribal governments, including $2 billion to states with the highest levels of overdoses, $1.6 billion through competitive grants and $400 million for tribal grants;
  • $2.7 billion to the hardest hit counties and cities, including $1.43 billion to counties and cities with the highest levels of overdoses, $1 billion through competitive grants and $270 million for tribal grants; 
  • $1.7 billion for public health surveillance, biomedical research, and improved training for health professionals, including $700 million for the National Institutes of Health, $500 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and regional tribal epidemiology centers and $500 million to train and provide technical assistance to professionals treating substance use disorders;
  • $1.1 billion to support expanded and innovative service delivery, including $500 million for public and nonprofit entities, $500 million for projects of national significance that provide treatment, recovery and harm reduction services, $50 million to help workers with substance use disorder maintain and gain employment and $50 million to expand treatment provider capacity; and
  • $500 million to expand access to overdose reversal drugs (Naloxone) and provide this life-saving medicine to states to distribute to first responders, public health departments and the public.