A newly signed law will provide more structure for opioid treatment providers. The move aims to ensure Hoosiers who need medication-assisted treatment are receiving comprehensive care.
Methadone is highly regulated in Indiana but providers who prescribe another medication, called suboxone or buprenorphine, haven’t been held to the same standards.
Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem) says some of the state’s office-based opioid treatment, or OBOT, facilities need more regulation.
"Rather than just prescribing suboxone for people to take and walk away with, without actually treating the root cause of the substance abuse addiction," says Houchin.
The number of OBOTs has grown to more than 600 in recent years. The new law will require providers to include counseling, drug screening and prescription monitoring as well as medication-assisted treatment.
Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill over the weekend.
Houchin authored the bill. She says under the new law, office based treatment providers, including hospitals, jails and other health providers, will have follow regulations.
"What we came up with is a modest framework that will ensure that the public can tell good from bad when they are seeking treatment legitimately," says Houchin.
The measure could also help stem provider prescription malpractice.