PRESS RELEASE: LEAP Endorses Landmark Drug Treatment Bill

For Immediate Release: Wednesday May 8, 2019
Contact: Mikayla Hellwich


Today, a nonpartisan and cross-disciplinary coalition of organizations and public agencies are endorsing the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act of 2019 to provide funding and resources to address the opioid crisis as a public health emergency. The Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), a nonprofit group of police, judges, and other criminal justice experts who support evidence-based drug treatment methods and harm reduction services, joins hundreds of organizations and state, local, and tribal agencies in endorsing the legislation.

"By focusing on enforcement for so long, we've largely disregarded the needs of people who have become addicted to drugs. We need to stop writing policy based on what should be, and start writing policy based on what is, and what will save the most lives." – Police Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), 34-year police veteran and executive director of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings re-introduced the legislation with more than 95 colleagues in the House and Senate. The most comprehensive legislation of its kind, the CARE Act is modeled on the Ryan White Act, which supports local decision-making, federal research, and programs that prevent drug use and expand access to evidence-based treatment and rehabilitation services.

President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers estimates the opioid crisis cost the U.S. more than $500 billion in 2015 alone. A new study in the Journal of Medical Care estimates the federal government lost $26 billion in tax revenue between 2006 and 2016 due to the opioid crisis. In 2017, more than 70,000 Americans died from overdoses, 68% of which were caused by opioids.

The CARE Act would provide $100 billion over ten years, including:

· $4 billion per year to states, territories, and tribal governments, including $2 billion to states with the highest levels of overdoses, $1.6 billion through competitive grants, and $400 million for tribal grants

· $2.7 billion per year to the hardest hit counties and cities, including $1.43 billion to counties and cities with the highest levels of overdoses, $1 billion through competitive grants, and $270 million for tribal grants

· $1.7 billion per year for public health surveillance, biomedical research, and improved training for health professionals, including $700 million for the National Institutes of Health, $500 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and regional tribal epidemiology centers, and $500 million to train and provide technical assistance to professionals treating substance use disorders;

· $1.1 billion per year to support expanded and innovative service delivery, including $500 million 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 disorder maintain and gain employment by providing grants and supporting research, and $50 million to expand treatment provider capacity;

· $500 million per year to expand access to overdose reversal drugs (Naloxone) and provide this life-saving medicine to states to distribute to first responders, public health departments, and the public.

Contact the Law Enforcement Action Partnership
Mikayla Hellwich

The Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) is a nonprofit group of police, judges, prosecutors, and other criminal justice professionals who use their expertise to advance public safety solutions. LEAP’s more than 230 law enforcement representatives from diverse backgrounds speak on behalf of thousands of law enforcement professionals across the U.S.

Just Solutions: The official blog of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, featuring expert law enforcement commentary on the most pressing issues in criminal justice, policing, and drug policy.

Instagram: @LEActionPartnership