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February 02, 2022

I On Politics: OVERCOMING ADDICTION CRISIS

Credit: Queens Gazette, John A. Toscano

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney joined elected officials and advocates to discuss the need for passage of the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act to continue our nation’s fight against the addiction crisis. Re-introduced in December with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin, along with Representatives Ann Kuster and David Trone, and more than 100 congressional Democrats, the CARE Act is the most ambitious legislation ever introduced in Congress to confront America’s addiction crisis. Congresswoman Maloney and Senator Warren’s CARE Act, which is endorsed by over 175 organizations, would provide state and local governments and community-based organizations with $125 billion in federal funding over ten years to expand access to treatment, harm reduction, and wraparound services.

Under the CARE Act, residents of New York City could benefit from approximately $48.4 million dollars in annual, formula-based funding directed to local governments to expand access to treatment, harm reduction, and wraparound services.  In addition, community-based organizations in New York City could receive a share of $1.5 billion in annual grants, and local governments in New York City are eligible to apply for a share of an additional $3 billion in competitive grants each year.

In 2020, more than 2,000 people experienced fatal overdoses in New York City—an increase of more than 500 fatal overdoses from 2019.

“Last year, approximately 275 people in the United States were lost each day to fatal overdoses. This crisis has touched every community in the United States—including ours right here in New York City,” said Rep. Maloney. “That is why Senator Elizabeth Warren and I led more than 100 of our colleagues in reintroducing the CARE Act. Now more than ever, the federal government must step up and provide our communities with the sustained funding to expand treatment access and turn the tide on this epidemic.”

The CARE Act is modeled directly on the Ryan White Act, supporting local decision-making and programs to expand access to evidence-based treatments and recovery support services. The CARE Act also recognizes the need for expanded mental health supports, early intervention, and harm reduction tactics.

The CARE Act would provide $125 billion over ten years to fight this crisis, including:

  • $4.6 billion per year to states, territories, and tribal governments, including $2.3 billion to states with the highest levels of overdoses and $1.84 billion through competitive grants.
  • $3.3 billion per year to the hardest hit counties and cities, including $1.75 billion to counties and cities with the highest levels of overdoses and $1.22 billion through competitive grants.
  • $2 billion per year for public health surveillance, biomedical research, and improved training for health professionals, including $1 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), $500 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and regional tribal epidemiology centers, and $500 million to train and provide technical assistance to professionals treating substance use disorders;
  • $1.6 billion per year to support expanded and innovative service delivery, including $1 billion 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 or at risk for substance use disorders maintain and gain employment, and $50 million to expand treatment provider capacity; and
  • $1 billion per year to expand access to overdose reversal drugs (Naloxone) and provide this life-saving medicine to states for distribution to first responders, public health departments, and the public.

The legislation has been endorsed by over 175 national, local, and tribal organizations.