Advocates for Opioid Recovery (AOR) firmly believes that in order to save lives and combat the opioid epidemic in America, we must work together at all levels to break down barriers to addiction treatment.
Five months after President Trump announced that he would declare the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency, we are pleased to finally see the President’s plan to address this public health crisis killing more than 175 Americans every single day.
We applaud the plan’s measures to expand access to evidence-based treatment, with a renewed focus on medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and recovery support services. We strongly believe that the bulk of the Initiative’s resources should be allocated to recovery efforts. We should also ensure that people living with addiction who are in the care of our criminal justice system are given access to evidence-based treatment.
We look forward to a detailed breakdown of the $13 billion plan and the allotment for addiction treatment and recovery efforts. We agree with the President that “failure is not an option” when it comes to combating the opioid crisis.
The Administration and Congress must expand access to treatment by realigning government resources to treat those suffering from addiction, starting with the basic improvement of both Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for recovery treatment such as expanding Medicare coverage to the 1500 government-certified Opioid Treatment Programs.
Providing funding for recovery efforts and science-based addiction treatment will save lives. Currently, only three out of every 100 people living with opioid addiction receive the most effective treatment – MAT – despite it’s proven effectiveness. Adequate funding must be provided so that everyone suffering from addiction has access to all available recovery options. The time for Congressional hearings has passed. The opportunity for Congress to implement real policies and provide real funding for addiction treatment is now, and we must act to save thousands of American lives.
Patrick J. Kennedy