Democrats Ask Drug Policy Office to Do More to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Twenty Democratic senators are asking the Office of National Drug Control Policy to do more to combat the opioid epidemic, according to the Associated Press.
The U.S. military's Tricare program is coming under fire for not providing reimbursement for methadone maintenance and buprenorphine treatment — two leading pharmacological interventions for opioid addiction.
The Navy Times reported Nov. 5 that a new report from the Drug Policy Alliance called on the federal government to expand veterans' access to addiction treatment, including medication-assisted therapy.
Tricare prohibits payments for “drug maintenance programs when one addictive drug is substituted for another on a maintenance basis [such as methadone substituted for heroin]” — a policy called “outrageous” by Robert Newman of the Rothschild Chemical Dependency Institute.
The report said that addiction problems are strongly associated with incarceration of veterans; about 19 percent of returning Iraq and Afghan war vets have been treated by the Veterans' Administration for addictions.