State Loosens Restrictions on Medication-Assisted Treatment

The state of New Jersey took an important step forward in the fight against the opioid epidemic last week. Beginning April 1, the Department of Human Services no longer requires approval to begin medication-assisted treatment to treat Medicaid patients for opioid addiction.

Prior to this decision, people struggling with addiction could have to wait days to receive authorization to be prescribed medication-assisted treatment, a delay that could cost someone their life.

Medication-assisted treatment is an important tool in battling opioid addiction. Studies have shown it reduces opioid use and overdose deaths and that patients prescribed medication-assisted treatment were more likely to remain in therapy for their addiction.

Despite this evidence, accessibility to medication-assisted treatment is a major issue throughout the country. I am hopeful more states will follow New Jersey’s lead in broadening access to this important treatment option.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey will host its Angel of Hope Gala on Thursday evening. This year’s honoree is Dr. Andrew Kolodny, who will be recognized for his efforts in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

I want to thank all of the sponsors for making the event a huge success, surpassing previous attendance and fundraising records. These funds will help provide free substance use prevention resources crucial to New Jersey families and communities.

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