Congress must reauthorize and expand the SUPPORT Act, which establishes vital infrastructure for communities across the country for substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) writes this week in STAT.
The SUPPORT Act was passed in 2018, and expired on September 30, 2023. Hassan says that one of the measure’s most critical provisions required every state to provide Medicaid coverage for medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD). Now that the SUPPORT Act has expired, this requirement ends in 2025, jeopardizing access to MOUD, as many states could choose not to cover it under Medicaid anymore. This is one of many reasons the SUPPORT Act needs to be reauthorized as quickly as possible, Hassan says.
There are also new threats to address since SUPPORT was passed in 2018, including xylazine. The reauthorized and expanded SUPPORT Act would help make test strips for xylazine readily available.
Other steps must be taken as well, Hassan says. She is working to pass the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Act, which would allow physicians to prescribe methadone to their patients so that they do not need to go to a methadone clinic. “This could help save lives and get more patients dealing with addiction on the road to recovery,” she wrote.