US relaxes rules for opioid substitutes during lockdowns
In the past few months, US agencies have temporarily eased restrictions governing how doctors can prescribe drugs meant to help people wean themselves off heroin and other opioids.29 May 2020
Coronavirus lockdowns have prompted the Trump administration to relax rules governing addiction treatments such as methadone, in what campaigners say has been a policy revolution in dealing with the US opioid crisis.
In the past few months, US agencies have temporarily eased restrictions governing how doctors can prescribe drugs meant to help addicts wean themselves off heroin and other opioids. Addicts can now begin treatment online instead of in person, receive home deliveries of drugs used as treatments and keep weeks’ worth of supplies at home.
While lockdowns have made life harder for addicts in many ways, those working in addiction therapy say the new rules for the crisis could encourage more people to seek treatment. “We are seeing changes for which people had been advocating for decades,” said Matthew Stefanko, a director at Shatterproof, which campaigns for addiction treatment. “The short-term changes we have seen are a really positive sign — the hope is now that they will last for longer than the lockdowns.”Share this on: