(Washington, DC) – Advocates for Opioid Recovery advisors former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, and #cut50 Co-founder Van Jones released the following statement today regarding the findings in the Trump Administration’s Opioid Commission Interim Report:
“The Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis’ interim report sends a strong and clear signal that the status quo won’t be tolerated when it comes to ending the opioid overdose crisis, which is claiming nearly 150 lives each day.
The Commission’s recommendation to issue a state of national emergency is bold, necessary, and would ensure the federal government urgently prioritizes treatment that will save lives. We urge President Trump to declare a Federal State of Emergency now and not wait for the Commission’s final report.
“Additionally, the most critical recommendation from the report, in our view, is removing the unnecessary barriers to evidence-based care through medication assisted treatment (MAT). This treatment is widely recognized as being the gold standard in opioid addiction care and is a proven way for people with opioid use disorders to achieve recovery.
Regardless of the type of medication used, access to all modes of MAT should be an urgent national priority. This is especially true for individuals in the criminal justice system – especially people who are currently incarcerated in our prisons and jails, on correctional supervision, or participating in our drug courts and other alternatives to incarceration.
Finally, we also stand by the Commission’s recommendations to address the outdated rules govern Medicaid spending on treatment facilities, fully enforce parity laws, incentivize data sharing, ensure access to naloxone, and support better prescriber education.
We are pleased to see that these recommendations will reach President Trump’s desk, and we look forward to working with the Administration and the Commission as these interim recommendations are expanded upon and implemented.”