Public Policy Statement on the Regulation of the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder with Methadone
The treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) with methadone has a long history and robust scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness. Currently, U.S. federal law limits its availability to certified, accredited, and heavily regulated opioid treatment programs (OTPs), a structure that has implications for access to, and quality of, care. This policy statement outlines existing regulatory barriers that prevent broader access to methadone treatment for OUD and summarizes current challenges to optimizing the quality of care offered by OTPs. Recommendations address ways to improve both access to, and the quality of, methadone treatment for OUD by making such treatment more patient-centered and integrated with other medical care. Such improvements are expected to reduce overdose deaths and improve health outcomes.