More than 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year, setting another tragic record in the nation's escalating overdose epidemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, only one in four healthcare providers said they received any training on addiction during their medical education – and more than half falsely believed that opioid use disorder (OUD) is untreatable.
Luckily, the MATE Act just passed Congress and is expected to be signed into law! The MATE Act will expand addiction education to healthcare providers. Under the new law, medical providers will receive training on how to treat patients with substance use disorders.
This is a historic moment, as this legislation has been in the making for more than three years. Shatterproof played a key role in leading the passage of this bill. Its passage wouldn’t be possible without the support of our stakeholders.
We are especially grateful to our ambassador program, which solidified this support with more than 30,000 communications to members in key states. This helped push the bill over the finish line to approval.
This legislation is monumental for many families struggling to access evidence-based treatment for addiction, including parents like Dede Yoder, whose son was prescribed opioids after multiple surgeries and subsequently battled a seven-year struggle with addiction. He had challenges finding a physician who could renew his medication for addiction treatment and, sadly, passed away of an overdose the day before he was scheduled to meet with a doctor who could treat him.
No mother should have to walk in her shoes, which is why legislation like this is so essential to ensuring healthcare providers know how to ensure patients receive the care that’s right for them.
Enacting the MATE Act is a critical piece to solving the puzzle of addiction in America and ending a decades-long epidemic of hundreds of thousands of overdose deaths. It represents the kind of big-thinking, systemic change we need to curb an epidemic that has cut short far too many American lives.
The bipartisan MATE Act would not be possible without the leadership of bill sponsors: Reps. Lori Trahan (D-MA), Buddy Carter (R-GA) and David Trone (D-MD), and Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Susan Collins (R-ME).