Last year, Congress passed the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act, seeking to expand access to buprenorphine, a proven treatment for opioid use disorder. However, a recent proposal by the Drug Enforcement Administration threatens to undermine Congress' intention. Now, some members of Congress appear ready to push back.
The DEA lifted its 2007 ban on methadone clinics sending out mobile units to reach people in communities underserved by the clinics. But patients are required to take the methadone in the presence of clinic staff. A better solution is to let doctors prescribe take-home methadone, like they do in Canada, UK, Australia--and they were permitted to do as an emergency measure during the pandemic.
Regulations regarding the use of buprenorphine to help with opioid addiction do not hinder care - they are designed to protect patients and train physicians who did not have formal education in addiction management.
Recent DEA efforts to address our enormous opioid addiction problem have arguably only made the situation worse. But now, an implant that steadily releases buprenorphine a weaker opioid used to wean users off heroin has recently been approved by an FDA advisory panel. So hope may be on the way.
A new study of children s emergency hospitalizations for drug-related exposures finds that almost ten-thousand annual occurrences result from toddlers ingesting their parents meds. This is unacceptable and it s the so-called grown-ups fault.