The Drug Enforcement Administration announced Monday a policy change aimed at expanding access to treatment for substance abuse disorders.
Dr. Rachel Levine, assistant secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, says the change is “extremely critical.”
“DEA‘s new rule will streamline the registration process to make it easier for registrants to provide needed services to underserved parts of the country,” Dr. Levine told reporters during a conference call.
Last year, the U.S. recorded its highest number of drug overdose deaths in a 12-month period. More than 92,000 deaths occurred between October 2019 and November 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“This alarming increase in overdose deaths underlines the need for more accessible treatment services,” Dr. Levine said, adding that studies show medication supports long-term recovery for substance abuse disorders.
Mr. Biden appointed former New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram to lead the DEA in April, and she is set to be sworn in Monday.
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