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Proposed Update to Federal Rules to Expand Access to OUD Treatment

January 9, 2023

Changes Would Make Permanent COVID-Timed Medication Flexibilities, and Update Decades-Old Definitions and Standards for Opioid Treatment Programs at a time when fewer than 1 out 10 Americans can access treatment for substance use disorder.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through its Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is proposing to expand access to treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) at a time when more than 107,000 Americans lost their lives to an overdose last year. The proposal would update the federal regulations that oversee OUD treatment standards as part of HHS’ Overdose Prevention Strategy. Specifically, the proposed rule change would allow Americans to access the treatment by allowing take home doses of methadone and the use of telehealth in initiating buprenorphine at opioid treatment programs (OTPs).


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