TAAP seeks to promote the advancement of Addiction Professionals by uniting alcoholism and other addition counseling professionals throughout Texas. By means of legislative initiatives, promotional campaigns and professional networking opps, TAAP will promote awareness of the disease of chemical dependency and other addictions and compulsive behaviors.
TAAP will advocate for standards for licensure and certification of qualified counselors to ensure the competency basis of those who counsel alcoholics and other addicts and their families and assure a high order of professional standards and ethics among those in the addictions counseling profession.
- Today is a day to celebrate. With near-unanimous support, the Senate has approved the first standalone legislation to address our nation’s opioid and overall addiction crisis. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) now heads to President Obama for his signature, and we hope that he will sign it quickly.
- Today, we recognize Congress’ momentous accomplishment. CARA will increase access by including nurse practitioners and physician assistants as authorized prescribers for medications that support treatment. CARA authorizes an arsenal of grant programs to help communities fight this heartbreaking epidemic with innovative prevention, treatment and recovery programs. CARA aligns financial incentives with the outcomes we want to see: fewer people becoming addicted to opioids; more access to a comprehensive range of services and supports, including medication-assisted treatment; and more individuals living healthy and happy lives in recovery from addiction. CARA incentivizes Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs to help identify illegal activity and intervene for those in need of addiction treatment by tracking opioid prescriptions. CARA brings behavioral health providers, law enforcement officers, criminal justice systems, state agencies and others together as key partners in the collaborative efforts that are needed to stem the opioid crisis. The National Council for Behavioral Health applauds Congress for its hard work to bring this bill to passage.
- Yet today, we must also recognize that our work is far from over. Without proper funding, the good intentions of CARA become empty promises. We must support states in their efforts to expand addiction care by fully funding CARA. The House says it will appropriate $581 million when it returns to Washington in September. While we’re waiting, more than 6,000 Americans will die from opioid overdose, and thousands more from alcohol-related deaths. We must finish the process and give CARA teeth.
- We must also remember that grants support only a fraction of the total amount of care that is needed in our nation. With 9 in 10 Americans unable to access needed addiction treatment, we must continue fighting to build capacity in our delivery system—through Medicaid, private insurance and other payers; through Accountable Care Organizations, Health Homes and other delivery system innovations. Grants are sorely needed, but they are not enough.
- We thank Congress for recognizing the problem and taking action, and we are particularly grateful to CARA’s champions in the House and Senate whose tireless efforts helped bring this bill to passage. Clearly this country is ready to treat addiction not like a crime, but like the health issue it is. Now we urge lawmakers to respond to this crisis on behalf of Americans living with addiction, by fully funding CARA and building capacity in our treatment system.
July 15, 2016
- ALEXANDRIA, VA – NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, is excited and heartened by the news of the Senate’s overwhelming vote to pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (“CARA”) on Wednesday. The U.S. House voted last week to approve CARA and it will now go onto President Obama for his signature. This is the first time in decades that Congress has passed comprehensive addiction legislation and the first time Congress has ever supported long-term recovery. NAADAC has spent three years advocating for the passage of CARA with many partner organizations and views the passage of this act as a significant first step by Congress to fight the opioid epidemic and strengthen prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts.
- NAADAC supports efforts to expand medication-assisted treatment availability, incorporate an evidence-based approach to treatment, expanded education, SBIRT, and support services, and create services focused on underserved populations. However, while the act makes several significant changes and lays out a roadmap for addressing the opioid epidemic, NAADAC is disappointed by the lack of funding. The $181 million authorized for this purpose pursuant to CARA is not sufficient to fund all of these efforts and falls short of funding the bold initiatives it is proposing. NAADAC believes it is critically important that more funds be appropriated to ensure that CARA has a more meaningful impact on the daily struggles of those suffering from addictions and that addiction professionals face while working in addiction prevention, treatment, intervention and recovery support.
- NAADAC Executive Director, Cynthia Moreno Tuohy states, “We are cautiously optimistic. While some funding is better than no funding in the battle to save lives, we need to be reminded that our country is still facing substantive challenges fighting the opioid epidemic, in addition to drug, alcohol, and other addictions that cannot be forgotten. The critical need for more substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery programs still exists and will need to be addressed to stop the tide of useless deaths in the United States.”
- NAADAC will continue its efforts to advocate for adequate funding for CARA and looks forward to continuing work with our partners and with Congress to ensure that the full potential of CARA is realized.
- To all Houston TAAP Members,
- With all of the attention that Houston is getting lately because of the awesome treatment we have here and the innovations emanating from the area over the last 50 years, it is the perfect time to advance in the influence and service we can offer to the local, state, and national governmental officials.
- Houston treatment providers can give unique information and support to our legislators that will help them to find the path to sanity in treating substance abuse. Join the Houston TAAP Advocacy Committee (HTAC) and help us change the country.
- This will be a great chance to get to know other treatment professionals as well as the people who make public policy.
Let’s keep it simple to start. If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
LET’S ROCK IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
John Cates and Don Hall, Advocacy Co-Chairs TAAP Houston
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