The opioid crisis is affecting our friends, our families and our communities, including too many people with mental illness. 1 in 5 adults with mental illness have a substance use condition.
Congress is expected to vote soon on a final bill to help address the opioid crisis. We expect it will include many provisions NAMI supports, such as promoting tele-health, workforce development and trauma-informed care.
However, Congress cannot adequately address the opioid problem unless it modernizes an outdated federal regulation, 42 CFR Part 2, that treats substance use information differently than other health information. Your doctor sees information about your health history, like diabetes, that affects what medications you can take and other treatment options. But your doctor can’t see the same information about a substance use disorder, even though that can cause life-threatening complications.
The U.S. House recognized this problem and passed H.R. 6082, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act, by an overwhelming, bipartisan vote and included it in their opioid package. This bill aligns 42 CFR Part 2 with HIPAA, which protects health information for all other conditions. It also includes additional safeguards to prohibit discrimination based on substance use history.
Unfortunately, this didn’t make it into the Senate bill. You can help change this. ACT TODAY. Tell your members of Congress to include H.R. 6082 in any final opioid package.
Source: National Alliance on Mental Health
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