SMACNA Endorses Legislation Modernizing Access To Opioid Treatment

SMACNA sends letter to both Houses of Congress urging lawmakers vote to pass bill that would make the treatment of opioid dependency more accessible and allow board-certified physicians and psychiatrists to prescribe treatments.   

SMACNA is endorsing a pair of bills advancing in the United States Senate and House of Representatives designed to improve access to measures that would aid in treating individuals experiencing Opioid Use Disorder (OID). The Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act (MOTA) addresses outdated regulations that address the prescription and dispensing of methadone and other medications used to treat the condition.

Both the Senate version (S. 644) and the House version (H.R. 1359) enjoy bipartisan support. Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) are co-sponsoring the Senate version, while Representatives Don Bacon (R-NE) and Donald Norcross (D-NJ) are co-sponsoring the bill in the House.

SMACNA members have long encouraged and supported established substance abuse assessment and treatment programs and outreach initiatives across the nation. SMACNA provides our member firms with resources on mental health, suicide, and drug and alcohol prevention. SMART’s Member Assistance Program (MAP) provides education, awareness, and a membership action program for those dealing with problems associated with mental health issues.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) there were nearly 70,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2020 – a 36% increase over the previous year.

In discussing SMACNA’s support of MOTA, Stan Kolbe, SMACNA’s Executive Director of Legislative and Political Affairs, stated, “With hundreds of thousands dying and becoming dependent on opioids each year, Congress should soon act to pass H.R. 1359 so Americans with opioid use disorder can get the medically effective treatment where and when they need it to aid in their recovery.”

Click here to read the endorsement letters for the House and Senate versions of the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act. Also, take a moment to review a fact-sheet from Congressman Norcross about the legislation.