Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III is among 39 attorneys general calling on Congress to make it easier to treat opioid use disorder.
In a letter addressed to both majority and minority leaders in Congress, the attorneys general state in just two years, there have been more American deaths from the opioid crisis than the Vietnam War.
With an estimated 2 million Americans struggling with opioid addiction, the attorneys general ask for out-of-date privacy rules in the Code of Federal Regulations which often “prevent general practice providers from even attempting to treat patients with substance use disorders through the use of medication-assisted treatment.”
The letter also calls on Congress to pass House Resolution 2482, known as the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act. Under the bill, certain restrictions on prescribing buprenorphine, a narcotic used to treat opioid addiction, would be eased which discourage doctors from prescribing the drug.
The attorneys general lastly ask for Congress to repeal a law which prohibits state Medicaid programs from receiving federal reimbursement for adults receiving mental health or substance abuse use disorder treatments at facilities with more than 16 beds.