The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights today announced guidance and a public education campaign highlighting how federal nondiscrimination laws, such as those prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability or limited English proficiency, apply to opioid use disorder treatment and recovery services. The new guidance complements 2017 OCR guidance clarifying how health care providers can share health information with a patient’s family members, friends and legal representatives in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act when the patient may be in crisis and incapacitated, such as during an opioid overdose. In other opioid-related news, the Department of Justice today awarded $70 million in grants to combat illegal manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine, heroin and prescription opioids, and assist children impacted by the opioid crisis.

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