WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) voted for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which passed the Senate last night by a vote of 92-2. He cosponsored the legislation to provide a series of incentives and resources designed to encourage states and local communities to pursue a full array of proven strategies to combat and treat prescription opioid abuse and heroin addiction. The legislation now goes to the president to be signed into law.
Senator Heinrich cosponsored an amendment to CARA to provide $600 million in emergency funding for law enforcement and public health efforts and treatment and recovery programs. However, Senate Republicans blocked the inclusion of the amendment in the final bill.
“I remain deeply concerned about the opioid addiction epidemic in New Mexico and across the country. This bill creates new programs, but unfortunately fails to provide the real dollars needed to deliver life-saving prevention and treatment services. We need substantial resources to combat this crisis and end this epidemic in New Mexico," said Sen. Heinrich. "I've met with far too many families who have been effected by the opioid crisis. Far too many New Mexico families have lost loved ones and many more are struggling to find treatment and recovery resources. For years, without adequate treatment resources, New Mexico’s communities have suffered through some of the highest rates of opioid and heroin addiction in the nation. We urgently need more resources for better prevention, treatment, recovery, and enforcement programs specifically designed to help people struggling with addiction and give local communities the tools they need to tackle this issue head on. I will continue fighting to provide emergency funding for drug prevention and treatment programs nationwide. By taking a comprehensive approach to combat this epidemic, we can ensure people have the opportunity to get on the road to recovery."
In February, Senator Heinrich convened a roundtable in Rio Arriba County to highlight ongoing efforts and ways to better address the heroin and prescription drug crisis. In a floor speech in March, Senator Heinrich shared stories of New Mexicans he met from the Española Valley who have battled through addiction and addressed how the opioid epidemic has impacted the state.