The White House held an event on January 24th on Removing Barriers to Addiction Treatment, marking the end of the X-waiver requirement also known as the DATA-Waiver Program. As part of the requirement, health care providers with a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) license needed to obtain a waiver to prescribe medications such as buprenorphine when treating opioid use disorders (OUDs). The X-waiver’s strict federal limitations imposed significant barriers to health care providers prescribing life-saving treatment.
In President Biden’s State of the Union address, he called on Congress to act to remove barriers to addiction treatment. The Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act (“MAT Act”, S. 445, H.R. 1384), first introduced by Congress in 2019, was included in the end-of-year spending package along with other measures to address OUD. This legislation removes the x-waiver requirement and aims to increase access to buprenorphine. In the midst of this deadly overdose crisis, your Academy has advocated for Congressional leadership to support the MAT Act as a way to prevent overdoses, increase access to treatment, and reduce stigma.
On January 12, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the DEA have released guidance on the implementation of the MAT Act. Academy staff will continue to monitor this legislation and any further released guidance. Please contact email@example.com with any questions.