In 2021, at least 108,000 people died from preventable overdoses - the worst year in recorded history. Impacts from COVID-19, such as physical distancing and wide-ranging unemployment, have led to isolation, stress, and despair among many people, including people who use drugs. All of these factors are increasing overdose risk.
No matter what we look like or where we come from, the overdose crisis reminds us that at our core we are all human. Our ability to get and stay well depends on everyone having what we need to prevent, treat, and recover from illness. Taking care of each other is how we care for ourselves, so I am calling on you to ensure that every person in the U.S. has access to prevent, treat, and the ability to thrive.
We need your leadership to pass the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act of 2021 (H.R.1384). The MAT Act would eliminate the DATA 2000 WAIVER ("X Waiver") requirement that discourages practitioners from integrating treatment in their practices and perpetuates stigma in the medical community against patients who would benefit from buprenorphine treatment.
I am writing to ask you to join as a co-sponsor for the MAT Act and to vote yes when it comes up for a vote in the House. The MAT Act has bipartisan support in the House and Senate.
Now is the time to invest in proven solutions - like accessible healthcare, lifesaving treatment, and harm reduction measures - to stop preventable overdose deaths. To effectively respond to the urgency of the overdose epidemic, we need to eliminate barriers that prevent healthcare practitioners from providing evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders.
We need our government to end the overdose crisis. Thanks.
▶ First sent on May 17, 2022 by Jess Craven