Markey Commends Expansion of Medication Assisted Treatment, Funding to Track Overdoses in Massachusetts

Recently-passed CARA law includes Markey provision to allow trained nurse practitioners and physician assistants to provide life-saving medication-assisted therapies such as buprenorphine

Washington (August 31, 2016) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced new funding for states through its Opioid Initiative. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration  will provide $11 million in grants to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services for persons with an opioid use disorder. Through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Massachusetts is one of 12 states to receive a grant to better track fatal and nonfatal opioid-involved overdoses.

“Treatment for prescription drug and heroin addiction should not be harder to access than the actual drugs destroying lives,” said Senator Markey. “And while this important federal funding will help us better understand opioid overdoses and expand medication-assisted treatment, we need Congress to pass emergency funding immediately to combat the crisis. Massachusetts is already on track this year to surpass the tragic number of opioid overdoses families suffered in 2015, in part due to the dramatic rise in overdoses due to illicit fentanyl. I will continue to call on Republican leadership to stop blocking the resources and other investments we need to stem the tide of heroin, prescription drug and other opioid addictions.”


President Obama recently signed into law the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). The law include a provision that mirrors a proposal in The Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment (TREAT) Act, legislation originally introduced by Senators Markey and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). For the first time, trained nurse practitioners and physician assistants will be able to provide life-saving medication-assisted therapies such as buprenorphine (also called Suboxone).