WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWS CENTER) -- On Thursday, Senator Angus King (I- Maine) took to the Senate floor to ask congress for more money to fight the opioid and heroin epidemics sweeping the country.
Senator King urged President Obama and the leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee to work together to fund CARA- the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act before a possible government shut down takes place on October 1st, 2016.
Last year, 272 people in Maine died as a result of drug overdoses and this year is expected to surpass that number.
“That's just unacceptable. It's like sending the fire department but not giving them any water. Treatment is where the bottleneck is. This isn't something that's abstract and could happen in the future. This is happening right now,” said Senator King.
CARA, which was passed by Congress in March and was signed by the President, authorizes government programs to combat the opioid epidemic but has not appropriated any money to do so.
If the $181 million requested by Senator King is not included in a Continuing Resolution to fund the government by the end of this month, then CARA would likely go unfunded this year.
So far there have been 189 deaths within the first six months of 2016. Senator King announced that Maine is now on a pace to losing one person per day to opioid overdoses.
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