Biden Nixes Waiver that Expanded MAT

The Biden administration has removed a directive from the Trump administration, known as the X Waiver. The waiver would have allowed a more considerable amount of doctors to prescribe and oversee Medication-Assisted Treatment. Doctors and addiction professionals have expressed dismay and disappointment at the decision, which allowed a quicker way to get relapse-prevention drugs like Naloxone to patients who have overdosed or risk overdose due to opioid use disorder.

A Premature Directive

In mid-January, the directive supporters were happy to hear that Biden had no immediate plans to overhaul the measure, which was one of the few actions taken by the Trump administration against opioid use disorder.

The X-Waiver made hastily toward the end of Trump’s term would have made it easy for emergency room physicians and other frontline doctors to prescribe MAT. In the past, specialists had to apply …

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Many Addiction Centers Won’t Use Medication-Assisted Treatment

According to US News, the majority of drug and alcohol treatment centers in the United States don’t offer three standard Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) services, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends and encourages them for people with opioid use disorder.

Only six percent of treatment centers in the United States offered all three medications, while about thirty-six percent of treatment centers offer one MAT drug for opioid users.

MAT drugs help users curb their desire to use, or help with other side-effects and withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone are the only drugs approved by the FDA for long-term treatment of opioid use disorder. The drugs are viewed as safe and effective by regulators and researchers, but often there is a stigma attached to the medications. Many treatment centers prefer to use traditional therapy and 12-step meetings …

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