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Senator Lankford Applauds Congressional Action to Combat America’s Opioid Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today voted for Senate passage of the Comprehensive Addictive Recovery Act (CARA) (S. 524) conference report, which is now on its way to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

The legislation addresses America’s tragic opioid drug epidemic by ensuring that federal resources are focused on evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery programs that have been tested and proven effective in local communities. The CARA conference agreement authorizes funding to provide treatment and prevention strategies. The Senate passed the bill today by a vote of 92 to 2, and the House passed the bill, on July 8, by a vote of 407-5.

“Drug abuse is rapidly expanding in our nation, as drugs become more accessible and inexpensive,” said Lankford. “Oklahomans know, all too well, the devastation of heroin and prescription painkiller abuse on people and families. Our state’s Midwestern central location and highway system makes us particularly vulnerable to drug trafficking.

“Drug-use is not a victimless crime, it destroys families, communities and people’s futures. One in ten American adults, or 23 million Americans, have experienced a drug addiction at some point in their life. Addiction is a treatable disease, but only about 10 percent of those who need treatment are receiving the help. I applaud the bipartisan work on this legislation to combat this epidemic and I remain hopeful that millions of Americans can get the help they need.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that since 2000, the national rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137 percent, including a 200 percent increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids.