What The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) Means for You

In 2016, President Barack Obama put in place the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) to address the nationwide opioid crisis. It tackles this epidemic from many angles by putting a focus on prevention, treatment, recovery, improved law enforcement, criminal justice reform, and finally, overdose reversal. However, if you’re struggling with opioid addiction, this act also has a direct effect on you personally. Discover what the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act means for you.

If you or your loved one need a safe space to recover from addiction, contact Myrtle Beach Recovery to learn more about our short- and long-term recovery programs.

CARA 2.0

While Obama laid the groundwork, the Senate implemented some major improvements to the act in 2018. Because of this, the act is now called CARA 2.0. Take a look at the most significant changes and how they affect you:

Reducing Prescriptions

In an effort to reduce the number of painkiller prescriptions written, under CARA 2.0, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are only able to prescribe buprenorphine under the direction of a qualified physician. Essentially, only qualified physicians have the authority to prescribe them. In addition, the act also implements a cap on the number of patients a doctor is able to treat with buprenorphine.

Three Day Limits

When opioid treatment is necessary, there is now a restriction on the length of the treatment. If a painkiller is being used to address acute pain, only three days’ worth of the drug is permitted to be prescribed. In addition to this, only the lowest dosage of the drug is able to be prescribed.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP)

Each state has an electronic database called the Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP), and it shows the prescriptions every doctor has written for controlled substances. Under CARA 2.0, physicians are required to check the PDMP before prescribing a controlled substance, and they also must check the PDMP again every three months throughout the patient’s treatment. That said, it’s much easier for prescribers to pick up on addictive patterns.

Comprehensive First Responder Training

Annually, 300 million dollars is going towards training first responders on opioids. Knowing how to treat opioid victims with naloxone, a miracle drug that rapidly reverses the effects of an overdose, means more lives saved.

CARA 2.0 and You – In Summary

In summary, this is what the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act means for you if you’re struggling with an opioid addiction or are assisting a loved one with an addiction:

  • It’s harder to get a painkiller prescription. This is because only qualified physicians can now prescribe them.
  • CARA 2.0 reduces the risk of becoming addicted. Three-day limits prevent long-term usage and low dosages prevent dependency on the drug.
  • Doctors can easily see what you’ve been prescribed. The Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs help doctors pick up a pattern of drug abuse.
  • If you are addicted, first responders can help. In the tragedy of an overdose, first responders now have better knowledge to save individuals in this state.

As you can see, CARA 2.0 has some serious, life-changing impacts on those addicted to opioids and aims to prevent addiction from ever occurring in the first place.

Consider Myrtle Beach Recovery

If you or a loved one are addicted to opioids, don’t hesitate to reach out to Myrtle Beach Recovery. We offer short-term and long-term recovery programs, providing a safe place to work through the 12 Steps.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you on your path to sobriety.