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Trone Leads Reintroduction of Legislation to Tackle Root Causes of Addiction

March 20th, 2021 by WCBC Radio

Representative David Trone (D-MD) announced that he reintroduced the bipartisan Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act, along with Representatives Lori Trahan (D-MA), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), and David P. McKinley (R-WA). 

The legislation would implement a standard for substance use disorder (SUD) training to require prescribers of highly addictive medications to have baseline knowledge in evidence-based addiction prevention and treatment. The group previously introduced this legislation in the 116h Congress.

“As we continue to lose thousands of Americans to drug overdoses, our focus must be on both treating addiction and preventing it from happening in the first place,” said Congressman Trone, co-chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force. "The MATE Act will ensure that all prescribers are fully educated on addiction treatment and prevention and can help save lives."

Specifically, the bipartisan legislation would:

  • Create a one-time, non-repetitive requirement for all DEA controlled substance prescribers (Schedule II, III, IV or V) to complete training on treating and managing patients with opioid and other substance use disorders, unless the prescriber is otherwise qualified.
  • Allow accredited medical schools and residency programs, physician assistant schools, and schools of advanced practice nursing to fulfill the training requirement through comprehensive curriculum that meets the standards laid out in statute, without having to coordinate the development of their education with an outside medical society or state licensing body.
  • Normalize addiction medicine education across certain professional schools and phase out the need for these future practitioners to take a separate, federally mandated addiction course.
  • Authorize the federal government to appropriate grants to schools and medical programs to develop the curricula used to train prescribers on how to best identify and treat SUDs.