TODAY: Donnelly to Hold Conference Call As Senate Debates Bipartisan Bill to Address Opioid and Heroin Epidemics


Senator will discuss legislation that would provide states and local communities with tools to treat and prevent drug addiction, raise public awareness, enhance prescribing practices


TODAY, Wednesday, March 9, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly will hold a conference call with Indiana media to provide an update on the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), the bill being considered this week in the Senate, which seeks to address the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemics and includes provisions adopted from and similar to bipartisan legislation that Donnelly and Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) reintroduced last year. These provisions would enhance prescribing best practices, raise public awareness, and expand access to naloxone. Donnelly has also proposed an amendment to CARA—scheduled to be considered today—that would encourage first responder units that receive funding through a program for training law enforcement and first responders to administer naloxone to use outreach coordinators to ensure every individual who receives naloxone also receives an in-person follow-up to help them get connected with treatment or other necessary services. Indianapolis EMS recently began a similar outreach program, designed to connect overdose victims who receive naloxone with the help that they need.


For two years, Donnelly has been working to combat the opioid abuse and heroin epidemics in Indiana and across the nation. He has listened to Hoosiers, introduced bipartisan legislation, partnered with federal, state, and local officials, and brought together stakeholders.


Donnelly reintroduced the bipartisan Heroin and Prescription Opioid Abuse Prevention, Education, and Enforcement Act with Ayotte in April 2015, which focuses on several key areas including enhancing training and education for prescribers; hosted a bipartisan roundtable discussion at IUPUI with U.S. Representative Susan Brooks (IN-05), Indiana and federal health officials, doctors, and pharmacists to hear a range of perspectives about best practices to help curb the opioid abuse epidemic; and made recommendations to the Governor’s Drug Task Force, providing suggestions for short- and long-term responses to Indiana’s addiction problems.


WHEN:  TODAY, Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 1:00 PM EST.


WHERE: To receive dial-in information for the call, please RSVP to Donnelly_Press@Donnelly.Senate.Gov or call 202-224-0972.  

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