On Oct. 24, President Donald Trump signed a sweeping legislative package of bills to address the nation’s growing opioid epidemic. Two ED-specific provisions developed by ACEP are included that would authorize grants to expand the alternatives to opioids (ALTO) program and the ED-initiated medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program that develops best practices for providing a “warm handoff” of patients with opioid use disorder to appropriate community resources and providers to keep them engaged in addiction treatment. Throughout the many months of congressional activity on H.R. 6, ACEP worked closely with congressional leadership, House-Senate conferees, and the bill sponsors to ensure these provisions were included in the final package and used the ACEP-preferred language. During the ACEP Leadership & Advocacy Conference last May, hundreds of ACEP members advocated for these provisions with legislators and staff during their Capitol Hill visits.
Even more ACEP members in the 911 Network responding to action alerts over the past months responded to action alerts over the past months and contacted their legislators about these bills.
In other opioid-related news, ACEP participated in a meeting with White House officials, federal agencies, and other stakeholders to discuss best practices in combatting the opioid epidemic. The meeting focused on actions the Trump administration has taken to date, a review of future projects, and policies established at state and local levels that have benefited patients and reduced misuse of opioids. Particular focus was placed on National Take Back Day on Oct. 27 and how meeting participants can promote these drug-collection sites.