More than 21 million Americans have a substance use disorder. Of them, only 1 in 10 receives any treatment at all. For those who do receive care, that treatment is rarely based upon proven research. Thousands of American families cycle their sons, daughters, and loved ones through this broken system, dealing with programs not rooted in the science of what is effective treatment for addiction. And as a result, far too many of our loved ones are dying needlessly every day.

Treatment works for addiction—but that treatment must be based upon proven science in order to be successful. Shatterproof supports legislative efforts to ensure all Americans have access to evidence-based addiction treatment.

As part of the comprehensive opioid legislation enacted by Congress in 2018, a new provision supported by Shatterproof will require the National Mental Health and Substance Use Policy Laboratory (“Policy Lab”) to take new steps to encourage mental health and substance use disorder program grantees to implement and replicate evidence-based practices for prevention and treatment. The Policy Lab will also be required to provide technical assistance to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grantees to make sure they are aware of the most up-to-date information on what is evidence-based and how to replicate proven methods and care. While there is more to be done to further evidence-based treatment, this bill is an important first step toward improving the status quo. 

Shatterproof will also continue to advocate for H.R. 2466, the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act. This important bill seeks to provide more certainty for State Opioid Response Grants, which have been used to provide evidence-based treatment, by extending the program for five more years.

The battle for science-based addiction treatment is one that Shatterproof will continue to wage to ensure that the federal government stops funding and supporting treatment programs that are not based on research and proven results. It’s time to create systems that ensure every American with a substance use disorder has access to quality, effective treatment, just as they would for any other disease.