WASHINGTON (WDTN) – Thursday, Congressman Mike Turner reintroduced The Reforming and Expanding Access to Treatment (TREAT) Act, which aims to expand access to treatment and increase flexibility in how existing federal funding can be used to combat the opioid epidemic.
“This issue was first brought to my attention at the Greene County Jail, where I was informed that Medicaid-eligible individuals lose access to opiate abuse and addiction treatment options upon incarceration,” Turner said. “Since then, I have aggressively pushed for legislation to fix this. Maintaining an uninterrupted course of substance abuse treatment during incarceration is imperative to ensure successful rehabilitation, prevent deadly overdose upon reentering society, and avoid recidivism. I look forward to continuing my work with local leaders and organizations to end this deadly epidemic, and I urge swift passage of this bipartisan legislation.”
The TREAT Act would amend the Social Security Act to allow the Medicaid program to pay for substance abuse treatment services incurred by those who are incarcerated but otherwise eligible. By removing a barrier that interferes with and even prevents medical interventions for opioid abuse, the hope is to help individuals maintain continuity of drug addiction treatment services, regardless of setting.
The bill would also remove a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) policy that prohibits using grants from its Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) to combat opioid abuse among incarcerated populations.
Under TREAT, those grants could be used in both community-based and institutional settings.