The opioid crisis remains a national public health emergency, Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan declared Friday, renewing the administration’s October declaration effective Jan. 24. In November, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis released its final report with more than 50 recommendations to address the opioid epidemic. Among other recommendations, the report urged Congress and the administration to block grant federal funding for opioid- and substance-use-disorder-related activities to the states; grant waiver approvals for all 50 states to eliminate barriers to treatment caused by the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Diseases exclusion; better align patient privacy laws specific to addiction with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; mandate prescriber education to enhance prevention; expand access to medication-assisted treatment; combat illicit fentanyl; enhance data sharing among prescription drug monitoring programs; and enforce the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

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