Rep. Turner's Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act Passes the House
This week, I announced that my bill, the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act, which allows physicians to prescribe buprenorphine without first obtaining a waiver, passed the House, 402 to 20, Wednesday, June 22.
Under current law, practitioners are required to obtain a waiver from the Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe buprenorphine as a treatment for opioid abuse. Turner introduced the bill in February 2021, following President Biden's reversal of the Trump-era decision to remove the waiver requirement.
Experts on the front lines of the opioid crisis agree that buprenorphine helps treat opioid addiction, yet under current law, we are constricting practitioners' ability to prescribe this medicine, and in doing so, limiting access to millions of Americans who need help. The MAT Act eliminates the waiver requirement to prescribe buprenorphine, thereby streamlining quality and timeliness of care. With drug overdose as the leading cause of death in Americans under 50, the passage of this legislation is critical and will greatly improve substance abuse treatment across the U.S.
"On behalf of the entire OneFifteen team, our partners, patients, and their loved ones, we thank Congressman Turner for his leadership in passing legislation that we know will improve the lives of millions of Americans living with substance use disorders," said Marti Taylor, President and CEO of OneFifteen. "His persistence and leadership will bring evidence-based treatment and services to millions of Americans in need. Based on data-driven learning, we know that medication assisted treatment and supportive services enable recovery and bring relief to families and communities. Because of Congressman Turner, people in Montgomery County and throughout America will have better access to MAT, a true victory for us all."
I have long fought to improve treatment of substance abuse in his home state of Ohio, which has a 47.2 percent drug overdose death rate. This Congress, Turner co-introduced two additional bills, the Due Process Continuity of Care Act and the Medicaid Reentry Act of 2021, both of which fight to improve treatment for opioid addiction.
In addition, OneFifteen and I have worked together to improve substance abuse awareness in the community through various roundtable discussions. OneFifteen is an addiction treatment center that prioritizes personalized, long-term treatment for those fighting substance abuse.
Click here for a substantive list of Turner's work to combat the opioid epidemic.