Sen. Sherrod Brown has introduced legislation to address what he says is a growing problem for employers and for people getting treatment for addiction.
Earlier this week, Ohio’s Democratic Senator called for a comprehensive public health campaign to combat the opioid epidemic.
Now, he’s introducing the “Collectively Achieving Recovery and Employment (CARE) Act,” which would divert $100 million from existing grant programs at the Departments of Labor and Health & Human Services to offer job training and recovery services together.
“It's not just [doing] the addiction treatment, then you go to job training,” Brown says. “But that they're all talking to each other and understanding that the job training – that a number of people in the job training programs – might have suffered from addiction. And they need to pay special attention to what their challenges are versus somebody that's maybe right out of high school that's never suffered from addiction.”
Brown says he has bipartisan support for the bill, which he says is a response to hearing from mayors across Ohio that employers are having trouble finding workers.
“Too often, people don't qualify because of the drug test,” Brown says. “And if they're getting addiction treatment, but they can't find work, their chances of falling back into addiction are so much higher."
Brown’s co-sponsor on the bill is Republican Sen. Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia.