Opinion: Relaxing patient privacy rules would worsen the opioid epidemic

Loosening 42 CFR Part 2, a vital privacy protection rule for people in treatment for a substance use disorder, would undermine efforts to solve the nation's opioid crisis.
Firefighters transport an overdose victim to a hospital in Rockford, Ill.

As the national opioid epidemic continues to escalate, policymakers are increasingly desperate for solutions to stem the tide of devastation. Those of us who have been working to fight for decades to combat addiction in America — through the crack epidemic, the meth epidemic, and the previous heroin epidemic — have a message for them: Listen to the voices of patients, families, and recovery advocates to understand what to do and how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past or creating more damage.

We also have a message for patients, families, and. This legislation would jeopardize the confidentiality of substance use treatment and discourage patients from seeking the care they need to get well and stay well — and stay alive.

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