In the midst of the worst opioid epidemic in US history, the Legal Action Center knows we must fight to maintain the federal confidentiality law – 42 CFR Part 2 – that protects the treatment records of patients in recovery. LAC, along with several other organizations in the Campaign to Protect Privacy Rights, opposes the “Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act” (H.R. 6082), which, despite its name, will only discourage individuals from seeking treatment for addiction issues. LAC’s Senior Health Policy Attorney Deborah Reid and American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence President Mark Parrino explain in an op-ed in The Hill, “Substance use disorder patients need Part 2’s stronger confidentiality protections precisely because they face more significant discrimination and other harmful consequences than people living with other illnesses.” Multiple policy-makers and advocates agree that weakening Part 2’s protections would be devastating to individuals and families struggling with addiction throughout the country.
You can take action now – contact your Senators and tell them DO NOT INCLUDE H.R. 6082 in the Senate’s opioid bill package! You can find your Senator’s name and office address to write to them here, or call them through the US Capital switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Here is a sample script you can use: “I am a constituent who lives in Senator _____________’s state, and I urge the Senator to oppose including H.R. 6082 (“the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act”) in the Senate’s opioid bill package. H.R. 6082 would reduce privacy protections by allowing the sharing of patient health information without patient consent. In the middle of our nation’s opioid crisis — H.R. 6082 is harmful and would prevent people from entering care out of fear that their treatment records would be used against them in harmful ways.”