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Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act Offers MAT and Telehealth Access
The Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act, signed into law on January 3, 2023, aims to increase addiction treatment access, particularly MAT (Medication-Assisted Treatment) for opioid use disorder. By loosening restrictions, the bill helps increase access to treatment in underserved populations. This includes access to Medication-Assisted Treatment via telehealth in rural and other underserved communities, including correctional facilities.
What Does The MAT Act Do?
The Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act is a piece of legislation aimed at expanding access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for individuals with substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder. In addition, the Act seeks to address barriers to MAT, such as lack of provider training, reimbursement issues, and regulatory obstacles, by providing funding and support for implementing new programs.
The MAT Act takes a comprehensive approach to address the opioid epidemic by:
- Providing grants to increase the number of healthcare providers trained in MAT.
- Expanding access to MAT in rural and underserved communities, including pharmacy access in eligible states.
- Increasing the use of technology to provide MAT in remote locations.
- Improving access to MAT for individuals involved in the criminal justice system.
- Supporting the integration of MAT into primary care settings.
The MAT Act aims to increase access to evidence-based treatments for individuals with opioid use disorder, reducing the impact of the opioid epidemic. Well-funded treatment initiatives can help improve the health and well-being of communities hard-hit by the addiction epidemic. Pharmacies in states that allow it will now provide access to Medication-Assisted Treatment and naloxone without any restrictive paperwork.
"On behalf of our nation's pharmacists, we applaud Representative Tonko for his leadership in passing this important legislation, which is a common-sense solution that removes restrictions on prescribers of buprenorphine to allow health care providers, including many pharmacists, to have greater involvement in treating patients with opioid use disorder. This is a huge win for pharmacists and the patients we serve," Ilisa Bernstein, PharmD, JD, FAPhA, interim executive vice president and CEO of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), said about the Act's passage.
Increasing MAT Access Saves Lives
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) saves lives by reducing the risk of overdose and death, improving patient outcomes, and helping individuals achieve and maintain recovery from opioid addiction.
MAT combines medications, such as buprenorphine or methadone, with behavioral therapies and support to address both the physical and psychological aspects of opioid addiction. The medications help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings, making it easier for individuals to remain in treatment and avoid relapse.
Studies have shown that individuals in MAT have lower rates of opioid use and higher rates of treatment retention compared to those receiving non-medication-based treatments. This improved treatment adherence leads to better outcomes, including reduced risk of overdose and enhanced quality of life.
MAT also helps to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis C, that can occur due to shared needle use among individuals with opioid addiction. By providing a safe and effective alternative to opioid use, this tool can help to save lives and improve overall health and well-being.
Getting Help for Opioid Addiction In North Carolina
If you or somebody you love needs help for opioid use disorder, you're in the right place. We can serve North Carolina residents throughout the state and help you via telehealth if you qualify. Get in touch to learn more about your treatment options and how we can help.
If you are in need of help, please call us at: 910-295-7246 or message us.