Portman takes opportunity to highlight how CARA helps veterans

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) marked Veterans Day by highlighting how his Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) benefits veterans.

The bipartisan bill, which was signed into law in July, aims to ensure that federal dollars support evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery programs operating at the local level.

During recent visits with veterans in Columbus, Youngstown, Canton and Dayton, Ohio, Portman discussed provisions of CARA that authorize veterans’ treatment courts, peer-to-peer services and assistance programs for veterans.

“CARA supports drug courts like this one with more federal funding and increasing eligibility for our troops who are discharged because of an addiction,” Portman said during a visit to Hocking County Drug Court in August. “Through CARA and drug courts like this, we help more people get the long-term care that they need and begin to turn the tide in the fight against addiction.”

CARA also mandates more stringent opioids prescribing guidelines and education for VA medical providers, more coordination and communication about pain management and alternative treatments for chronic pain. It also will instill accountability within the VA system through regular Government Accountability Office reviews.

Additionally, CARA enhances the VA patient advocacy program by taking steps to ensure that independent advocates are a voice for veterans, by improving the VA hiring process to eliminate bad doctors and by expanding coverage of health and wellness initiatives.