A blog post this week from the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD) illustrates the methadone treatment community's commitment not to be left out of the conversation about optimal responses to the opioid addiction crisis.
AATOD president Mark Parrino wrote of several signs of progress over the past year in expanding access to opioid addiction treatment, but also suggested that more needs to be done to boost the availability of methadone-focused opioid treatment programs (OTPs).
Parrino wrote, “We also plan to increase the focus on how we can expand OTPs throughout the United States, overcoming many barriers to care, including zoning ordinances and moratoria in developing much needed OTPs. The focus will be how to increase the base of 1,400 OTPs to a far greater number over the course of the coming years.”
AATOD remains focused on ensuring that methadone's track record as a maintenance medication does not get lost in the continued expansion of access to buprenorphine and naltrexone products in opioid dependence treatment. An editorial that I wrote earlier this year (following AATOD's national conference) generated similar support for methadone treatment, with the most recent comments to be published in the Letters section of Addiction Professional's Fall print issue.
This week's blog from AATOD also mentioned the need to expand Medicaid reimbursement for OTP-delivered services. At present, these services are not eligible for any Medicaid payment in 17 states.