Senator Mitch McConnell visits Volunteers of America for round table, town-hall discussion on addiction recovery bill
On March 22 U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell visited Volunteers of America Mid-States' Shelby Street Clinical Campus in Louisville to discuss passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) with President/CEO Jennifer Hancock, our Board of Directors and other Volunteers of America leaders and supporters. The round table and town-hall discussion with Senator Mitch McConnell focused on the impact of the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic on Kentucky and how CARA will address the urgent need to treat addiction with a more comprehensive response, such as expanding the availability of naloxone and shifting resources to focus on treatment rather than punishment for people struggling with addiction.
With the recent spike in overdoses in the area, the visit from Senator McConnell was particularly timely as the need to expand addiction recovery services becomes even more pressing. Together with local and national leadership, Volunteers of America Mid-States will continue to advocate for the passage of CARA so that we can grow our recovery services to reach more people who need our help.
"This is a huge, huge problem. Kentucky, regretfully, is one of the worst states…The actual treatment is going to be done in places like [Volunteers of America] which are having extraordinary success," McConnell said during his visit. "I'm here to congratulate you, Jennifer, and all of your team on the work you are doing."
If passed, CARA will set aside $80 million for federal grants for local treatment, prevention and enforcement programs.
"Having Senator McConnell endorse our evidence-based and outcomes-driven approach to treating addiction is quite an honor. I applaud his leadership on this topic and I am confident that with his support, we will see more treatment dollars for our local communities across the Commonwealth," Hancock said. "His support is absolutely critical in light of the growing opioid epidemic that is affecting so many Kentucky families. We are eager to continue partnering with him as we grow our addiction recovery programs to ensure Kentuckians are able to access lifesaving treatment."