Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 (S.524/H.R.953)
Section by Section
Title I: Prevention and Education
Sec. 101 – Development of Best Prescribing Practices: This section requires the establishment of an inter-agency task force, composed of representatives from HHS, VA, DEA, CDC, addiction treatment organizations, and other stakeholder communities to develop best practices for pain management and pain medication prescribing. It also requires the Task Force to submit a report to Congress outlining a dissemination strategy and other recommendations.
Sec. 102 – National Education Campaign: This section authorizes the Attorney General to make grants to states, units of local government, and non-profits for the purpose of expanding educational efforts—particularly aimed at teens and aging populations—to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery.
Sec. 103 – Community-Based Coalition Enhancement Grants to Address Local Drug Crises: This section authorizes the Attorney General, in consultation with the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), to make grants to entities suffering from drug crises (experiencing above average rates of drug abuse for extended periods or sudden spikes) to implement community-wide prevention strategies.
Title II: Law Enforcement and Treatment
Sec. 201 – Treatment Alternative to Incarceration Programs: This section authorizes the Attorney General to make grants to states, local governments, Indian tribes, or nonprofits to develop, implement, or expand treatment alternatives to incarceration under specific circumstances (including with the consent of prosecuting and defense attorneys, corrections officials, and other appropriate stakeholders) for individuals who meet certain criteria. It requires periodic updates on the progress of individuals placed in alternative settings.
Sec. 202 – Law Enforcement Naloxone Training and Implementation Pilot: This section authorizes the Attorney General, in coordination with the Secretary of HHS and the Director of ONDCP, to make grants to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies for training in the use of naloxone and for the purchase of naloxone.
Sec. 203 – Prescription Take-Back Expansion: This section authorizes the Attorney General, in coordination with the Secretary of HHS and the Director of ONDCP, to make grants to state, local, or tribal law enforcement units to develop or expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications. It also provides for grants to national nonprofit organizations providing technical assistance and training regarding the disposal of drugs.
Title III: Treatment and Recovery
Sec. 301 – Evidence-Based Opioid and Heroin Treatment and Interventions Demonstration: This section authorizes the Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment to award grants to State substance abuse agencies, units of local government, or nonprofit organizations in geographic areas that have a high rate of—or have had rapid increases in—heroin or other opioids to expand activities (including those making available medication assisted treatment) in the relevant areas.
Sec. 302 – Criminal Justice Medication Assisted Treatment and Interventions Demonstration: This section authorizes the Attorney General, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, to make grants to eligible entities for the administration of medication assisted treatment programs through criminal justice agencies.
Sec. 303– National Youth Recovery Initiative: This section authorizes the Director of ONDCP, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, to make grants to eligible entities (including high schools, institutions of higher learning, nonprofit organizations, and others) to provide support for recovery from substance use disorders to individuals in high school or enrolled in institutions of higher learning.
Sec. 304 – Building Communities of Recovery: This section authorizes the Director of ONDCP, in consultation with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA), to award grants to certain independent nonprofit organizations for the development and expansion of recovery services.
Title IV: Addressing Collateral Consequences
Sec. 401 – Expansion of Educational Opportunities for Incarcerated Individuals: This section authorizes the Attorney General to award grants to states, local governments, nonprofit organizations, or Indian tribes to design, implement, and expand educational opportunities for offenders in jails, prisons, and juvenile detention facilities. Grants under this section may be used to pay for basic education, secondary level education, high school equivalency examination preparation, career technical education, and English as a second language education. They may also be used for instructor hiring and teaching and the screening and assessment of individuals to determine educational and other needs, risk, and aptitude.
Sec. 402—Revision of FAFSA Form: This section directs the Department of Education to remove questions about prior convictions for the possession or sale of illegal drugs from federal student loan applications.
Sec. 403 – Creation of a National Task Force on Recovery and Collateral Consequences: This section creates a task force made up of representatives from the health care, housing, employment, substance use disorder, law enforcement, and legal communities to identify the collateral consequences faced by individuals with state or federal drug convictions and to recommend ways of reducing and, where possible, eliminating them.
Title V: Addiction and Recovery Services for Women and Veterans
Sec. 501 – Addressing Opioid and Heroin Abuse by Pregnant and Parenting Women: This section authorizes the Attorney General to make grants for the purpose of expanding a State's services for women offenders who are pregnant and women offenders with dependent children who are suffering from substance use disorder.
Sec. 502 – Grants for Family-Based Substance Abuse Treatment: This section directs the Attorney General to submit to Congress an annual report that describes the number of grants awarded under section 2921(1) of the Omnibus Crime Control Bill that are used for family-based substance abuse treatment programs that serve as alternatives to incarceration for custodial parents to receive treatment and services as a family.
Sec. 503 – Veterans’ Treatment Courts: This section authorizes the Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to award grants for the purpose of establishing veterans treatment courts and peer-to-peer services.
Title VI: Incentivizing Comprehensive Responses to Addiction and Recovery
Sec. 601 – State Demonstration Grants for Comprehensive Opioid Response: This section authorizes the Attorney General, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, to award planning and implementation grants to eligible state, units of local government, territories, or Indian Tribes, or combination thereof, to prepare a comprehensive plan for, and implement, an integrated opioid abuse response initiative. The comprehensive response must include specific improvements to state prescription drug monitoring programs, as well as prevention/education efforts, expanded treatment programs, and plans for reversing opioid overdoses.
Title VII: Offset and GAO Report
Sec. 701 – Offset: This section states the sense of Congress that the cost of the bill should be offset by a corresponding reduction elsewhere in Federal non-defense discretionary spending.
Sec. 702 – GAO Report on IMD Exclusion: This section requires GAO to publish a report, within 180 days, on the impact that the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Disease exclusion has on access to treatment for individuals with substance abuse disorders.