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Addiction Field Celebrates Parity Anniversary: Senate Passes Opioid Package

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The Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Treatment fields celebrated the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Parity) today during an event hosted by the Kennedy Forum at the Russell Senate Office building.

Many US Senators and leaders from the addiction field spent several hours reflecting on passage of the groundbreaking Parity legislation and thanking legislators and advocates who had the foresight to support it. Patrick Kennedy, one of the original sponsors, served as the master of ceremonies and introduced Senators Reed, Stabenow, Whitehouse, Murphy, and Klobuchar. Also participating were former Senator Dodd and former Congressman Ramstad, another original sponsor.

NAATP worked in support of the field on passage of Parity for many years before it was finally accomplished. It has been the most significant legislation to address substance use disorder treatment in the last century.

While everyone involved has much to celebrate, we also acknowledged that enforcement remains an issue that must be addressed. In that regard, the Kennedy forum released several items to aid in evaluating how Parity is working. These include a state-by-state report card, a technical analysis of Parity and a social media message.

In another momentous action today, the US Senate passed the bi-partisan Opioid Legislative Package previously passed by the US House of Representatives.  It now goes to the President for signature. As previously reported, this bill contained many NAATP priorities.

We appreciate the response to our calls for action regarding this critical bill. NAATP voices were heard and made a difference.

Mark Dunn
NAATP Director of Public Policy
Washington, DC