Legislation addressing opioid addiction treatment becomes law

Legislation addressing opioid addiction treatment becomes law

President Donald Trump recently signed into law the Easy Medication Access and Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Addiction Act, which expands access to medications used to treat opioid use disorder.

Providers will be permitted to dispense up to a three-day supply of MAT to patients for maintenance or detoxification treatment. This is in addition to the three days of MAT permitted by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations for patients waiting for placement into a long-term treatment program.

Under DEA regulations, patients must return to the emergency department for their daily dosage of MAT. Easy MAT aims to ease the burden on already overcrowded emergency departments and increase the number of patients who make it to long-term treatment.

“This is a great outcome in our fight against the opioid crisis and expanding access to critical care for patients,” U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), who introduced the bill, said. “As a physician, I have seen firsthand the unnecessary barriers to long-term care that patients face when they wind up in the emergency department suffering an opioid overdose. By improving the availability of treatment, my bill, the Easy MAT Act, will help patients sustain their recovery, increase access to care, and save lives.”