Addiction Policy News

Stakeholders Applaud Re-Introduction of the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act

March 18, 2021

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With a recent survey indicating only 1 in 4 healthcare providers having ever received training on addiction during medical education, Congress must pass the bipartisan MATE Act to ensure DEA-licensed prescribers have a baseline knowledge of how to treat and manage patients with substance use disorder


Washington, DC – Today, the below coalition of leading advocacy groups released the following statement:


“Recognizing the country’s worsening drug overdose epidemic, we praise bipartisan Members of Congress today for reintroducing the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act, which is designed to ensure most Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-licensed prescribers have a baseline knowledge of how to treat and manage patients with substance use disorder (SUD). We urge Congress to pass this bipartisan legislation that will help standardize the delivery of education on the treatment and management of patients with SUD, facilitate recovery, and save lives.


“If passed, the MATE Act would expand the number of practitioners educated about treating patients with SUD and increase their knowledge and ability to use evidence-based approaches, including medications for addiction treatment. By equipping medical professionals across the healthcare continuum to recognize and treat SUD, the bipartisan legislation would also help reduce the stigma and discrimination that continue to undermine the national response to the addiction and overdose crisis.


“Specifically, the bill would require controlled medication prescribers (excluding veterinarians and dentists) to attest – on either one initial or renewal DEA application – that they are an addiction specialist physician or have completed at least 8 hours of qualifying education on treating and managing patients with SUD from one or more accredited organizations or an accredited health professional school or residency program. This will help normalize and mainstream addiction medicine/psychiatry education.  In addition, the bill would authorize federal grants to professional associations, universities, and other schools to develop and implement high-quality, comprehensive SUD curriculum for the purpose of integrating SUD education into the standard curriculum of relevant healthcare and health services education programs. Importantly, the legislation would not prevent prescribers from using the same education to satisfy both the one-time DEA registration requirement and for other purposes, such as satisfying state licensing requirements.


“The lack of adequate education in the treatment and management of patients with SUD is particularly acute among prescribers of DEA-controlled medications. Across different clinical settings, these healthcare professionals often interact with and have opportunities to provide effective interventions for individuals with SUD – opportunities to help that are often missed. According to a survey by Shatterproof of healthcare providers in Massachusetts, only 1 in 4 healthcare providers had received training on addiction during their medical education.


“Congress must act quickly to pass the MATE Act in order to save lives. With the drug overdose crisis accelerating during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical to equip prescribers with a baseline understanding of how to treat and manage patients with SUD. According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), over 83,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in the 12 months ending in July 2020 — the highest total ever recorded. While over 21 million Americans needed treatment for SUD in 2019, just 4.2 million reported receiving any form of SUD treatment or ancillary services.



“Today’s bipartisan re-introduction of the MATE Act is led by Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA) with her colleagues Reps. David McKinley (R-WV), David Trone (D-MD), Buddy Carter (R-GA), and Annie Kuster (D-NH).  An additional original co-sponsor is Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY).  We thank them for their leadership, and we look forward to the re-introduction of the MATE Act in the U.S. Senate, which will be led by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO).”

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American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry

American College of Clinical Pharmacy

American College of Medical Toxicology

American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine

American Society of Addiction Medicine

Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness

Faces & Voices of Recovery


National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery

National Council for Behavioral Health

National Safety Council


SMART Recovery

The Kennedy Forum

Well Being Trust

Young People in Recovery


Media Contact

Rebecca Reid