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What is Really Needed to End Opioid Addiction

by Kate Kelley, Monarch Housing

John O’Brien, who directs the Technical Assistance Collaborative's (TAC) work on substance use disorders writes, “The Trump administration’s interest in addressing the opioid epidemic is heartening, and last week’s proclamation is a welcome acknowledgment that opioid addiction and overdoses do indeed constitute a major public health crisis in our nation.”

O’Brien point out that in fact, billions of dollars are needed to end opioid addiction in the United States. “… There has at least been the promise of statutory and regulatory relief – with a particular focus on allowing states to waive the Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion. This 52-year-old statute bars Medicaid payments for mental health and addiction treatment provided to individuals in large treatment facilities, and some advocates assert that waiving it will allow Medicaid funds to flow for thousands of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment beds that currently lie empty.”

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