Pew Urges Congress to Address Opioid Crisis in New COVID-19 Package

Policies that expand access to buprenorphine would help more people get treatment

Congress to Address Opioid Crisis in New COVID-19 Package

On Feb. 5, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ substance use prevention and treatment initiative joined 15 other stakeholders from public health, behavioral health, and law enforcement in submitting a letter to congressional leaders urging them to include provisions from the 116th Congress’ Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act, H.R. 2482 and S. 2074, in their next COVID-19 relief bill. These bipartisan MAT Act policies would remove federal rules that require health care practitioners to obtain a waiver from the Drug Enforcement Administration before prescribing buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). For the roughly 1.6 million Americans with OUD, this legislation would help expand access to lifesaving medication that can be taken at home.

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