Has a court ever told you to stop taking addiction medication while on probation?
For drug court? To get custody of your children?
Has an employer denied you a job because of your addiction medication?
These common practices can be illegal discrimination. Treatment of opioid addiction with counseling plus medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone), and injectable naltrexone (Vivitrol), is known as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). MAT is highly effective. It decreases illicit drug use, overdose, infectious disease transmission, and crime.
Yet criminal justice and child welfare agencies often force people off their MAT medication. Receipt of MAT also can result in the loss of a job or arrest for driving under the influence.
Here is how the Legal Action Center can help:
Criminal Justice and Child Welfare Systems:
The Legal Action Center is planning to bring a legal challenge to overturn policies that deny access to MAT in courts, probation, parole, or the child welfare system in at least one of the following states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, or Wisconsin.
Due to limited resources, LAC will not be able to represent most people who complete the form. However, LAC will try to give helpful information, when possible. If you do not hear back from LAC, it may be due to limited resources and not because your case is not strong or you cannot advocate successfully.
If you do not live in one of the states listed above, you may still fill out the form. LAC will use the information to inform its education and advocacy work. You also can have your lawyer call LAC and speak with an attorney who may be able to provide some back-up assistance.
For information that can help you advocate for access to addiction medication in the criminal justice or child welfare systems, as well as LAC’s policy recommendations on the topic, please visit Resources. Make sure to read Advocating for Your Recovery: What to Do When Ordered off Medication.
Read Legal Action Center’s FAQs about substance use. Also read Advocating for Your Recovery: What to Do When Ordered off Medication, available in Resources.
If you live in New York, you might be eligible for LAC’s free legal services. To speak with LAC’s legal staff, please call (212) 243-1313, Monday through Friday during regular business hours.
Driving Under the Influence:
Is it legal to drive if you are in a methadone program or take other medication to treat opioid addiction? Read Driving on Methadone or Suboxone: DUI?