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Senators to Introduce Bill to Expand Treatment for Heroin and Prescription Drug Addiction

TREAT Act would increase access to evidence-based medication-assisted treatment

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and a bipartisan group of colleagues introduced new legislation, the Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment Act (TREAT) (S.1455), to expand specialized treatment for prescription drug and heroin addiction. The legislation would expand the ability of addiction medical specialists and other trained medical professionals to provide life-saving medication-assisted therapies such as buprenorphine (also called Suboxone) for patients battling heroin and prescription drug addiction. Unfortunately, due in part to federal restrictions, of the approximately 2.4 million people dealing with prescription drug and heroin dependency in 2013, only half received specialty treatment for their condition.

A copy of the TREAT Act can be found here. A one-page summary of the legislation can be found here.

The TREAT Act was introduced by Senators Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Rand Paul (D-Ky.). In addition to Senator Feinstein, the bill is co-sponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai’i), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.). A companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), and John Katko (R-N.Y.).