Let Healthcare Providers Treat Addiction Patients Now

Let Healthcare Providers
Treat Patients Now

Tell Congress to Kill the X Waiver to Expand Access to Medication Assisted Treatment

As loved ones, people in recovery, and people who use drugs united to end the overdose crisis, we are calling on our NJ Congressional Representatives to support the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act (HR 1384) which would eliminate the outdated and stigmatizing X waiver requirement and increase access to Medication Assisted Treatment.

Over 81,000 people died of a preventable drug overdose in the United States between June 2019 and of 2020 according to new CDC data (1) released in December of 2020. In New Jersey, we continue to lose 9 people a day to preventable overdose death. In order to save lives we need to expand access to the resources and treatments that actually work. This includes making it easier for healthcare practitioners to prescribe Medication Assisted Treatments – recognized as the gold standard of care in addiction treatment – by removing barriers like the outdated X waiver. Eliminating the X waiver would allow healthcare practitioners to increase the number of patients that they treat, as well as increase the number of MAT providers overall.

The Petition

To whom it may concern,

Over 81,000 people died of a preventable drug overdose in the United States between June 2019 and of 2020 according to new CDC data released in December of 2020. In order to save lives, we need to expand access to the resources and treatments that actually work. 

For too long people who use drugs, people in recovery, and their loved ones have been left without the resources needed to prevent drug overdoses and expand access to lifesaving treatments like Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in our communities. There are unnecessary barriers to MAT including the federal X waiver requirements that healthcare practitioners must apply and train for in order to prescribe buprenorphine. Evidence shows that buprenorphine (commonly known as Suboxone) is highly effective at preventing overdose and reducing chaotic substance use, and leads to long term recovery for many. In short, MAT gives people their lives and health back. Yet only 8% of people in New Jersey who receive addiction treatment are offered buprenorphine, and only 1 in 5 Americans receive buprenorphine as MAT. 

We need you to stand with us and be a leader in ending the overdose crisis by supporting the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act (HR 1384) – which would eliminate the X waiver requirement and remove patient caps – and act swiftly to pass this bill into law. 

What is the X Waiver?

Healthcare providers must apply for an X waiver in order to prescribe a form of MAT called buprenorphine – commonly known as Suboxone. Healthcare practitioners are required to complete between 8 and 24 hours of specialized training before they can apply for the X waiver and, even after receiving it, are restricted in the number of patients they can treat. There are no such waivers that restrict the prescribing of opiates that cause addiction, or any other drug in the US. Because of the X waiver there are not enough healthcare practitioners that can prescribe lifesaving buprenorphine treatment, especially in more rural places where healthcare access is already limited.

Eliminating the X waiver would allow healthcare practitioners to increase the number of patients that they treat, as well as increase the number of MAT providers overall. This means more access for people who live with substance use disorder and more hope for families who want what’s best for the people they love. 

(1)  opens in a new windowOverdose Deaths Accelerating During COVID-19 : CDC Newsroom

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