WASHINGTON — Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have joined forces to back legislation that would make medically assisted treatments more accessible to opioid addicts. The legislation, known as the Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment Act, would loosen restrictions on the number of patients a doctor could treat with buprenorphine for heroin addiction.
The consensus among the medical establishment is that medically assisted treatments such as buprenorphine (and methadone), along with counseling, represent the best chance for addicts to gain a foothold on sobriety. Both medications can make withdrawal less painful and can significantly diminish further cravings for opioids — greatly reducing the chance of relapse.
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