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State Opioid Treatment Program Regulations Put Evidence-Based Care Out of Reach for Many

Opioid treatment programs (OTPs) are the only health care facilities that can offer patients all three forms of medication for opioid use disorder: methadone, buprenorphine, and injectable extended-release naltrexone. No other setting is permitted to provide methadone. These facilities are critical to reducing overdose deaths and providing lifesaving addiction treatment.

But too often, access to high quality OTP care is curtailed by federal and state rules that are not based in evidence. Although debate over the future of federal methadone regulation is ongoing, state policymakers have the opportunity to act now to improve access to this medication and the quality of OTP services by removing rules that go beyond federal restrictions and limit access to care. Pew Charitable Trust reviewed OTP regulations across all 50 states and the District of Columbia as of June 2021.

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