Act Now to Call on Congress to Prevent Overdose Deaths

January 28, 2022

By Tate Heuer

In April of 2021, the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act (HR 1384/S.445) was introduced in Congress. This bipartisan legislation has nearly 240 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and would prevent overdoses, increase access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and remove arbitrary and harmful limitations on eligible providers, including PAs, to prescribe buprenorphine.

Enactment of this legislation will eliminate the need for PAs and other healthcare professionals with a DEA registration to obtain a special waiver and meet unnecessary, burdensome federal requirements in order to prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder.

Congress needs to hear from you, as trusted health care providers, about the importance of this legislation and the lifesaving changes it would bring to patients, families, and communities across the nation.

Opioid and drug overdose deaths in the United States accelerated to the highest level ever recorded in 2020, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of all Americans and those with substance use disorder (SUD) continue to face increased barriers accessing lifesaving treatment.

AAPA has long supported the MAT Act, and advocated for Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to remove barriers on PAs and other healthcare providers related to providing SUD treatment, including the existing requirement for many physicians to have eight hours of additional training and for PAs and NPs to have 24 hours. Congress could soon have the opportunity to consider the MAT Act, and now – more than ever – members of Congress need to hear from you.

Tell Congress that the time is now and urge them to pass the MAT Act. Together, we can demand action to take steps to prevent the more than 270 overdose deaths that occur each day. Tell Congress that outdated polices and stigma surrounding SUD are no longer acceptable. Pass the MAT Act today.

For more information, contact [email protected].

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