H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act of 2018, was made law to address the nation’s opioid overdose epidemic. The legislation includes provisions to strengthen the behavioral health workforce through increasing addiction medicine education; standardize the delivery of addiction medicine; expand access to high-quality, evidence-based care; and cover addiction medicine in a way that facilitates the delivery of coordinated and comprehensive treatment. The Support Act followed the passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and the 21st Century Cures Act in the previous Congress.
The Support Act has many important provisions, a few of which are:
- State Targeted Response Grants (STR): Reauthorizes and modifies the State Targeted Response grants from the 21st Century Cures Act to provide funding to Tribes and to improve flexibility for states in using the grants.
- First Responder Training: Continues a program that trains first responders to administer drugs for an opioid overdose and expands the program to include training on safety around fentanyl.
- Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers: Authorizes a grant program to establish comprehensive opioid recovery centers that will provide individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) holistic care, including all FDA-approved MAT, counseling, recovery housing, job training, etc.
- Requires HHS to issue best practices for recovery housing. Also requires HHS to identify or facilitate the development of common indicators that could be used to identify potentially fraudulent recovery housing operators.