The United States is facing an overdose crisis. Between April 2020 and April 2021, at least 100,000 people died from a preventable overdose. That’s an over 30 percent increase, and the worst year in recorded history. The War on Drugs created this crisis, and pharmaceutical and insurance corporations have since amplified it to a catastrophe.
No matter what we look like or where we come from, every one of us has the right to get and stay well. Everyone should have what they need to prevent, treat, and recover from life-threatening illness.
Scientific studies show that medication assisted treatment (MAT) is one of the most effective treatments for opioid use disorder and prevents overdose deaths. But as of now, healthcare providers are required to seek a separate waiver (the X-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine (a form of MAT) for the treatment of opioid use disorder. Blocking access to this treatment costs lives and increases racial disparities in healthcare.
The Mainstreaming Addiction Act (MAT) Act of 2021, H.R.1384 / S.445, offers new hope. It eliminates the current cumbersome requirement for a separate waiver. To effectively respond to the urgency of the overdose epidemic, we need to eliminate barriers that prevent healthcare practitioners from providing evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders.
The MAT Act, which has bipartisan support in both the House (currently at 229 cosponsors) and Senate, would eliminate the X-waiver requirement that discourages practitioners from integrating treatment in their practices, and perpetuates stigma against patients who would benefit from buprenorphine treatment.
Join us in demanding that Congress pass the MAT Act today!