The 117th Congress made important progress in addressing the addiction crisis by including billions of dollars in funding and several policy changes critical to addressing the mental health and addiction crises in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, passed in December 2022.
Among many others, the law includes provisions to:
- Expand access to medications for addiction treatment
- Require health care practitioners to undergo training in addiction and bolster the behavioral health care workforce
- Strengthen parity enforcement
- Expand behavioral health crisis response services
- Increase naloxone access
- Promote quality recovery housing and other recovery support services
- Support maternal mental health and addiction care
- Ensure access to mental health and addiction services during public health emergencies
- Increase access to non-opioid treatments for pain management
- Support youth mental health
- Reauthorize key programs and grants that support prevention, treatment, and recovery services
For a full summary of the law, see: Consolidated Appropriations, 2023 Summary and Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 Detailed Summary
The law incorporated several bills (or parts of bills) that our community of advocates had supported by signing action alerts, including:
- Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act, the mental health and addiction legislative package passed by the House earlier this year;
- the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT Act);
- the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act;
- the Opioid Treatment Access Act;
- the Closing Health Coverage Gaps for Public Servants Act;
- the Parity Implementation Assistance Act;
- the 988 Implementation Act;
- the Excellence in Recovery Housing Act;
- the Into the Light for Maternal Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Act; and
- the Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation (NOPAIN) Act.
The inclusion and passage of these bills is thanks to your help in urging your members of Congress to cosponsor and pass these bills and address the addiction crisis. These changes could not have happened without the support of our advocates. We know that much work remains, however, to reduce the barriers to addiction prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery services and help the millions of Americans impacted by addiction. Your participation is needed to ensure the 118th Congress, which just began its term, continues to build on this progress.
We encourage you to send the letter below to your members of Congress thanking them for their action on this crucial legislation and encouraging them to continue to make addiction a priority in the new session.