The committee has dedicated the last 5 years to responding to the congressional request to review the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) programs. The committee has explained why it could not directly meet the full congressional expectations for this evaluation.
The reader should not take away from these three reports that the committee believes that grantee efforts were not useful; the committee has highlighted evidence that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) grantees have used the CARA funding to expand and stand up new activities that provide value to individuals with substance use disorder, to the professionals working toward addressing the substance use disorder epidemic, and to grantees’ communities. These efforts have already served individuals and communities and are likely to promote population health in the long run. Further, the committee hopes that the guidance it provided regarding future evaluations—either of future cohorts of the CARA programs or of other federally funded programs—will allow Congress to better understand the impact of their investments.
The committee has appreciated the opportunity to work with Congress, SAMHSA, and grantees. It thanks grantees for providing information that informs this report series. It hopes that its reports do justice to the hard work, under very trying circumstances, of SAMHSA, CARA grantees, and individuals and populations confronting substance use disorder.
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