Wednesday, Gov. Kay Ivey hosted a formal bill signing ceremony at the Alabama Capitol for this year’s Medication Assisted Treatment Act (“MAT Act”). Flanked by an array of both state and national leaders, the signing of this legislation represents another step Alabama is taking to combat the drug abuse epidemic and help those struggling with addiction.
Passing this bill was no easy feat, however. Introduced just six days before the 2019 Legislative Session ended, the Medical Association worked closely with Sen. Larry Stutts, M.D. in drafting the language for the bill and was instrumental in pushing it to final passage.
“It really is extraordinary what we were able to get done in such a short timeframe,” said Association President, John Meigs, M.D. “I know this was a priority for Senator Stutts, and we were proud to see it become a priority for all legislators. MAT has already been proven to help reduce drug addiction and I am anxious to see its impact in Alabama.”
The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, with the guidance from a panel of industry stakeholders, is developing rules for medication assisted therapy in Alabama. If you would like to learn more about MAT and the federally-required qualifications for physicians, go to SAMHSA.gov. The Alabama Department of Mental Health also has information about MAT listed here, and a list of current grants for addiction treatment can be found here.