Back in May, we told you about a Wisconsin family fighting to honor the memory of Jason Simcakoski—a father, son, husband, and Marine who died due to mistreatment at a VA care center. Jason was seeking care for anxiety, but under medical supervision, passed away due to mixed drug toxicity. 

It was a heartbreaking—and preventable—tragedy.

Named in Jason’s honor, the PROMISE Act was passed by the House earlier this year. It makes it safer for veterans to seek opioid therapy and pain management care. One of 18 initiatives the House passed in May to tackle the nation’s opioid crisis, it went to a bipartisan, bicameral conference committee charged with producing final legislation. Today, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act was passed by the House of Representatives by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 407-5.

There are many families like the Simcakoskis who welcome this day, because this legislation will better address the national epidemic of heroin addiction and prescription opioid abuse.

How? For starters, CARA puts private- and public-sector experts on the case to identify best practices for pain management. In other words—keeping an eye on what’s working, and getting rid of what isn’t.

This bill will require the government to advance education and awareness of opioid abuse. Knowledge is power. By better educating our communities, government officials, and health care professionals alike, we can work toward a safer, healthier America, less plagued by opioid addiction and abuse. 

Quite simply, this legislation will help prevent many cases of opioid abuse and stop tragedies before they occur. 

With today’s vote, the bill is one step closer to the president’s desk, which means we are one step closer to ensuring communities and families have more of the tools they need to stop this epidemic and save lives. In turn, we hope to see more high-school diplomas earned, more college dreams achieved, more career goals met—and, most importantly, more families kept together. 

Now that is something we can all get behind.