Bills Introduced to Support OUD Treatment and Recovery

Last week, lawmakers introduced two pieces of legislation that would support opioid use disorder (OUD) recovery and treatment efforts. On March 6th, Senators Edward Markey (MA) and Rand Paul (KY) and Representatives Donald Norcross (NJ-01) and Don Bacon (NE-02) introduced the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access (MOTA) Act, which would increase access to care for people with OUD by updating prescribing and dispensing regulations for methadone, an essential medicine used to treat OUD. Currently, the prescribing and dispensing of methadone is controlled by Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs). Providers must be associated with an OTP to prescribe methadone and patients must travel to an OTP to receive methadone. The bill would improve access to methadone by allowing board-certified addiction physicians and addiction psychiatrists to prescribe methadone and allowing pharmacies to dispense methadone.

On March 9th, Representatives Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Scott Peters (CA-50), Larry Bucshon (IN-08), and Paul Tonko (NY-20) introduced the Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Reauthorization Act of 2023, which would reauthorize the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers grant program through 2028. The reauthorization would provide funding for wrap-around treatment and recovery support services in communities with higher rates of drug overdose deaths and would support grantees that provide medication assisted treatment, withdrawal management and counseling services, and recovery housing.

Articles & Resources

Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act

Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Reauthorization Act of 2023

CDC Announces Funding for Overdose Surveillance and Prevention Efforts

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced two new funding opportunities for states, localities, and territories under its Overdose Data to Action program, which focuses on interdisciplinary and multisectoral public health approaches to prevention, surveillance, evaluation, and health equity to reduce drug overdoses and address health disparities. The Overdose Data to Action in States funding opportunity will support state health departments to conduct overdose-related surveillance and implement overdose prevention activities and the Overdose Data to Action: Limiting Overdose through Collaborative Actions in Localities funding opportunity will support local city and county health departments and territories to develop overdose-related surveillance infrastructure and implement prevention activities. Both opportunities will support 5-year cooperative agreements. In a press release, Dr. Christopher M. Jones, Director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, said, “This funding is critical to support innovation, expand harm reduction strategies and link people to life-saving care, and make the latest data available so that we can get ahead of the constantly evolving epidemic, including changes in the illicit drug supply that make today’s crisis more deadly than ever.”

The application period closes May 8th, and letters of intent are requested by March 30th.

Articles & Resources

CDC – New Funding Opportunities for States, Cities, and Territories to Strengthen Overdose Surveillance and Prevention Efforts

What We Read Last Week

Several articles were published last week pertaining to the opioid epidemic, covering a variety of different components of the topic. Links to relevant articles are provided below.

CNN – Naloxone nasal spray may soon be in your pharmacy. Our medical analyst explains what it is and who can use it

CNN – Reason to worry about fentanyl in American schools

Congressman Joe Neguse – Reps. Joe Neguse & Darrell Issa Launch Bipartisan Fentanyl Prevention Caucus

Congressman Michael Guest – Congressman Guest Reintroduces END FENTANYL Act

Education Week – Schools Have Been Hit Hard by the Opioid Epidemic. How One Program Is Trying to Help

EurekAlert! – CHOP researchers find rate of fatal opioid poisonings among children more than doubled over 13-year span

Foley – DEA’s Proposed Rules on Telemedicine Controlled Substances Prescribing after the PHE Ends

Healthcare Finance – At ATA, stakeholders get say over DEA proposed rule on remote prescribing

Implementation Science Communications – Tailoring dissemination strategies to increase evidence-informed policymaking for opioid use disorder treatment: study protocol

Law360 – Tribes And Others Fight To Keep McKinsey Opioid Suit Alive

Medscape – DEA Proposals on Telehealth for Controlled Substances Draw Fire

Michigan Medicine – Study shows racial inequities in newborn drug testing

NPR – A roadblock to life-saving addiction treatment is gone. Now what?

Politico – Biden’s next battle in his opioids fight: His own bureaucracy

Politico – Biden’s opioid policy paradox

Politico – Two visions of telehealth’s future

STAT – Advocates, lawmakers warn that Biden telehealth rule will worsen opioid crisis

STAT – HHS secretary signals support for new restriction on addiction treatment

The Washington Post – As drug deaths soar, experts urge expanded access to methadone

UPMC – Community Strategy Reduced Opioid Overdose Deaths in Pennsylvania Counties

WHYY – Mobile addiction treatment and naloxone expansion part of Camden County’s plans for opioid settlement funds

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