The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Lia Weintraub,, 202-618-2482

Opioid Network: CARE Act Is What We Need to End Opioid Epidemic

Advocates for ending overdose crisis support Warren bill


Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) introduced the CARE Act in each chamber of the United States Congress.

The Opioid Network, a project of the Center for Popular Democracy, brought together harm reduction activists, labor and grassroots organizers and academics to weigh in about the legislation necessary to address the scope of our overdose problem. To celebrate the bill introduction, Opioid Network leaders and members shared their thoughts on the CARE Act.

Jennifer Flynn Walker, Director of Mobilization and Advocacy at the Center for Popular Democracy and founder of the Opioid Network

"If we are serious about addressing the opioid crisis, we must pass the CARE Act. The bill invests in harm reduction, prevention, treatment, and recovery -- the full scope of solutions our communities need. Representative Cummings and Senator Warren have worked hand in hand with people directly affected by the crisis to design this legislation. These voices are and will continue to be invaluable in bringing about an end to the opioid crisis. The only way to end a public health crisis is to have a public health response and Rep. Cummings and Senator Warren are proposing just that."

Grant Smith, Deputy Director of National Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance

"The Drug Policy Alliance strongly endorses the CARE Act of 2019, a groundbreaking bill urgently needed now to end our nation's overdose crisis. This legislation presents a bold federal plan of action to address this national emergency of overdose deaths by prioritizing the public health needs of local communities, including long-term investments in effective treatment, harm reduction and supportive services. We applaud Senator Warren and Representative Cummings for their thoughtful leadership in authoring the CARE Act, a bill inspired by the successes of the Ryan White CARE model in mitigating the HIV/AIDS crisis, and we look forward to working with the sponsors to highlight the many ways that the CARE Act would help communities save lives and close enormous gaps in treatment, harm reduction and other critical infrastructure essential to ending this crisis."

Charles King, Housing Works CEO

"We need to focus on evidence-based treatment to end the Opioid Epidemic. Spending more money on criminalizing opioid users is not only unnecessarily cruel, it simply doesn't work. The Ryan White Care Act has helped bring the end of the AIDS epidemic in sight, and the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act can do the same for the opioid crisis."

Jodi Newell, Rights & Democracy member leader

"As someone who experienced the loss of a loved one due to opiate addiction over a decade ago, I've become increasingly frustrated by the lack of action on the national level to effectively stem the crisis. Here in NH, we've all been affected in one way or another. I'm so grateful to Senator Warren and Congressman Cummings for putting forth the CARE Act. It's exactly what we need. Bold, thoughtful, effective action to help those in our community who can still be saved."

The Center for Popular Democracy works to create equity, opportunity and a dynamic democracy in partnership with high-impact base-building organizations, organizing alliances, and progressive unions. CPD strengthens our collective capacity to envision and win an innovative pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda.

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