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Tonko MAT Act & Addiction Treatment Measures Pass in House

H.R. 7666 includes key Tonko priorities to improve & strengthen addiction treatment access

  • Rep. Paul Tonko

WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Paul D. Tonko today voted in the House to pass H.R. 7666, the Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act, health-focused legislation that includes several key provisions he authored, including the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act, bipartisan legislation that eliminates the outdated bureaucratic requirement—known as the “x-waiver”—currently preventing Americans from accessing lifesaving addiction treatment. Tonko’s Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services Block Grant Act was also included. The full legislation passed out of the House with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 402 - 20.

“For years, I’ve pushed to strengthen and expand our nation’s addiction and mental health services and bring hope and support to Americans who need it most,” Congressman Tonko said. “The ongoing COVID pandemic has only driven up this need for action. Today, the House took bold steps to ensure that millions across our nation are delivered critical resources to address the mental health and substance use crises that are devastating so many of our families. I am especially proud that my MAT Act and Substance Use Block Grant bills were advanced in this package. These two bills, along with the other key provisions in this legislation, will go a long way in ensuring our friends, neighbors, and loved ones receive the care and support they need. I urge the Senate to move swiftly to pass this life-saving bill.”

H.R. 7666 strengthens and expands more than 30 critical programs that collectively support mental health care and substance use disorder prevention, care, treatment, and recovery support services in communities across the nation.

The two bills Tonko championed advanced in H.R. 7666 are:

  • The Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act that eliminates the redundant requirement that practitioners apply for a separate waiver through the DEA to prescribe buprenorphine for substance use disorder treatment. After France took similar action to make buprenorphine available without a specialized waiver, opioid overdose deaths declined by 79 percent over a four-year period.
  • The Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services Block Grant Act, which reauthorizes the crucial Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services Block Grant Act for an additional five years, thereby providing sustained investment in evidence-based programs that support individuals, families, and municipalities struggling with addiction.


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