Ordered off addiction medication by a criminal justice or child welfare agency? 

Denied a job because you take addiction medication?

The Legal Action Center’s MAT Advocacy Toolkit can help you fight for your right to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction.  MAT involves the use of medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) and injectable naltrexone (Vivitrol), in combination with counseling.  Dozens of studies have shown that MAT reduces illicit drug use, crime, and communicable disease.  Yet courts, probation, parole, and child welfare officials often force people to stop MAT against their doctor’s recommendation.

Need legal help challenging MAT discrimination?

Forcing people off MAT can be illegal.  The Legal Action Center (LAC) can work with your lawyer to challenge this practice.  Ask your lawyer to call LAC at (212) 243-1313 for back-up support.  Unfortunately, LAC cannot represent you in your criminal or child welfare case.  You can also fill out this form.


1. Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction: Myths & Facts

Gives the scientifically-supported facts to correct common misunderstandings about medications to treat opioid addiction.

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2. Advocating for Your Recovery When Ordered Off Addiction Medication

Explains how to advocate for the right to medication-assisted treatment when criminal justice and child welfare agencies, employers, and others order people to stop.

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3. Department of Justice addresses MAT discrimination

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has begun a national Opioid Initiative to remove discriminatory barriers to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and has stated that denying access to MAT can violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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4. Sample Treatment Provider Letter Supporting Medication-Assisted Treatment

Sample letter that treatment providers can use when patients are ordered off medication-assisted treatment. Click here for a Word version.

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5. Attorney's Guide: Addiction Medication and Your Client

Guide for attorneys whose clients are being forced off medication-assisted treatment. A more in-depth article is also available.

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6. Medication-Assisted Treatment in Drug Courts: Recommended Strategies

A report about successful strategies for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in drug courts. Sections include “Court Profiles,” “Nine Components of Successful MAT Programs” and ”Specific Issues for Rural Courts.”

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7. Legality of Denying Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment in the Criminal Justice System

A report explaining why criminal justice agencies violate federal anti-discrimination laws and the U.S. Constitution when they deny access to medication-assisted treatment.

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8. Driving on Methadone or Buprenorhpine (Suboxone): DUI?

Explains whether it is legal to drive while taking methadone or other medication to treat opioid addiction.

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9. Letters to Court or Probation Advocating for Individuals to Stay on Medication-Assisted Treatment

Letters that people can use to persuade courts to permit medication-assisted treatment.

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10. Confronting an Epidemic: The Case for Eliminating Barriers to Medication-Assisted Treatment of Heroin and Opioid Addiction

A report calling for expanded availability of medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Recommends greater insurance coverage, enforcement of consumer protection requirements, and increased use of MAT in the criminal justice system.

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