Written by Cheryl Gardine, LCSW – Missouri AATOD Board Delegate
The Missouri Senate Committee on Health and Pensions recently held a hearing on Senate Bill 521, which would expand access to MAT for those incarcerated in Missouri. The bill would prohibit any arbitrary limitations being placed on access to products approved by the FDA to treat Opioid Use Disorder. Representing Center for Life Solutions, Cheryl Gardine provided supportive testimony. Others who provided supportive remarks include: AATOD, Legal Action Center, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and the Missouri State Medical Association. No groups or individuals testified in opposition.
During the hearing, committee members expressed approval of the measure and were stricken by data presented on the number of overdose deaths attributable to those formerly incarcerated in states such as Maine. After a week off for Spring Break, the Committee convened on March 24, 2021 and approved SB 521 in a unanimous vote. The proposal is now eligible to be debated by the full Senate.