Bustos Introduces Opioid Addiction Treatment Legislation

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos has introduced legislation aimed at increasing access to treatment for those suffering from opioid addiction in rural areas.

Bustos says only 55-percent of rural counties have substance use disorder treatment facilities. She says that makes access to telemedicine vital in combating the opioid epidemic. However, current federal law prohibits a medical practitioner from dispensing controlled substances through the internet without first evaluating the patient in-person. The Special Registration for Telemedicine Clarification Act instructs the Attorney General to take the necessary steps to allow for the prescription of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and other controlled substances via telemedicine. Specifically, Bustos says the bill will lead to the implementation of a special registration process for physicians to prescribe such treatment, helping connect patients with the treatment they need without risking important safeguards to prevent misuse.