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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 14, 2019 03:40 PM
From: Representative Kerry A. Benninghoff
To: All House members
Subject: Requiring Counseling along with Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Addiction
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to help those in treatment for opioid abuse disorder to have the best chance at successful, long-term recovery.

My legislation would establish prescribing guidelines for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). These guidelines would require counseling for every patient receiving MAT. The guidelines would also require all MAT treatment plans to include a pathway to eventual weaning off medication.

For background, there are several ways the people who have a substance use disorder can receive help for their addiction, including by taking medication such as:
  • Vivitrol (a once a month injection),
  • Suboxone (a sublingual film prescribed by doctors and administered by the patient privately),
  • Sublocade (a monthly extended release injection of buprenorphine)
  • Methadone (a liquid given at a treatment center on a daily basis)
If we truly desire for those in treatment to experience the joy of a full recovery and go on to lead fulfilling, healthy lives, we must provide them with more than medication. We must also provide them with the tools necessary to rebuild their mental and emotional well-being, establish healthy relationships and maintain progress in recovery. That is the motivation behind this legislation.

To ensure enforcement of these prescribing guidelines, there will be a graduating penalty for prescribers who do not meet these minimum standards. First offense will result in a fine of $1,000; the second offense will result in a fine of $3,000; and the third offense will generate notice to the licensure board for review of the violation as unprofessional conduct for the licensee.

Recognizing that not every patient is a candidate for a gradual reduction of his or her reliance on MAT, the legislation includes a provision for DDAP to waive this requirement in limited and well-documented cases.

Please consider joining me in cosponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1358