Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction: Challenges and SolutionsChallenges and Solutions - # 5 of 9 in a weekly series The Challenge: Legislative Restrictions Affecting Patients and Programs
State legislators and municipalities were passing restrictive legislation and zoning ordinances, which sought to curtail the availability of methadone maintenance treatment for chronic opioid addiction. Some state legislatures sought to impose limits on the duration of treatment while other sought to impose limits on the maintenance dosages that could be administered. Some state legislatures sought to limit take-home medication and the location of OTPs. Some states sought to limit how patients could obtain drivers licenses. There was also a federal legislative proposal to restrict Medicaid reimbursement and federal financial support for opioid addiction treatment. Solution
The Association worked with the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, individual state authorities, treatment providers and federal/state legislators throughout the country to better educate state officials about the value of our treatment services. In certain cases, these initiatives represented critical public debates in the media over the course of months. What May Have Happened If AATOD Had Not Acted
Federal legislation might have passed, ending funding for methadone treatment through block grants and Medicaid. State legislatures may have succeeded in restricting patients being able to hold drivers licenses and treatment programs may have been limited to subtherapeutic dosages and length of time in treatment for patients in a number of states. Ultimately, methadone treatment programs would have been driven out of existence in a number of municipalities.
We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.
Methadone; A Flicker Of Light In The Dark
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