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Key Federal Legislation, Policy and Appropriations


Below are details about key federal legislation, policy and appropriations of priority to NCJA members. NCJA members are also encouraged to visit the Congressional Affairs page int he Members Only section for access to our Status of Legislation Chart and Justice Assistance Table. If you need additional information, please contact Elizabeth Pyke, Director of Government Affairs, at

Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act


n July 2016, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA), which authorizes new funding for a comprehensive, coordinated, balanced strategy to expand prevention and education efforts while also promoting treatment and recovery. The bill, S. 524, sponsored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), passed the Senate on March 10, 2016, by a vote of 94-1. It passed the House on May 13, 2016, by a vote of 400-5.

CARA does the following:

  • Expands prevention and educational efforts—particularly aimed at teens, parents and other caretakers, and aging populations—to prevent the abuse of methamphetamines, opioids and heroin, and to promote treatment and recovery;

  • Expands the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders to help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives;

  • Expands resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction disorders promptly by collaborating with criminal justice stakeholders and by providing evidence-based treatment;

  • Expands disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the hands of our children and adolescents;

  • Launches an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and intervention program to expand best practices throughout the country;

  • Launches a medication assisted treatment and intervention demonstration program; and,

  • Strengthens prescription drug monitoring programs to help states monitor and track prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals access services.

View a section-by-section summary of CARA

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