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AG urges Congress to remove federal barriers to opioid use

8/5/2019, 6:01 p.m.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined a coalition of 35 attorneys general in urging Senate and House of Representatives leadership to ...

Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined a coalition of 35 attorneys general in urging Senate and House of Representatives leadership to remove federal barriers that are currently preventing health care providers from offering treatment for opioid use disorder.

“The opioid epidemic is not an isolated problem; it has destroyed lives and families throughout Illinois,” Raoul said. “Removing barriers to treatment is one meaningful step that will ease the burden of people currently struggling with addiction. I am committed to providing help to those who are suffering and to protecting the people of Illinois from the devastating effects that opioid addiction has on public health, social services and criminal justice systems. I urge members of Congress to take the steps outlined in this letter and live up to that same commitment.”

In the letter, Raoul and the coalition asked members of Congress to take three steps to help remedy the opioid crisis by removing barriers to treatment including:

Replacing cumbersome, out-of-date, privacy rules with the effective and more familiar privacy rules contained in the Health Insurance Portability and

Accountability Act (HIPAAPassing HR 2482, the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act, to eliminate burdens on prescribing buprenorphine – one of three drugs used as part of medication-assisted treatment, the most effective treatment for opioid use disorder. Outdated and unnecessary federal requirements imposed by the Drug Addiction Treatment Act are discouraging doctors from prescribing this life-saving drug to patients who need it.

The AG urges anyone who believes they or a loved one may be addicted to opioids to seek help by calling the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances at 833-2FINDHELP, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Joining Raoul in the letter are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakoda, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.