Watch the full event here

Washington, D.C. – Today, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Center for Mental Health and Addiction Policy, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Dr. Rahul Gupta hosted senior administration officials, university health practitioners, and state leaders at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School for Public Health to discuss opportunities to expand access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), including methadone, in correctional facilities across the country.

During the event, Dr. Gupta highlighted actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to increase access to treatment in jails and prisons. Just last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), updated federal regulations for opioid treatment programs for the first time in more than two decades, including a final rule on the use of methadone. The rule allows jails and prisons to treat patients for opioid use disorder (OUD) with methadone if the facility is registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a hospital or clinic, and if the patient has a primary diagnosis of a condition other than OUD or opioid withdrawal symptoms.

“Expanding access to life-saving, evidence-based treatment for people who are incarcerated is a key priority of President Biden’s whole-of-government efforts to address the nation’s overdose epidemic and save lives,” said Dr. Gupta. “Data shows that medications like methadone are an effective treatment for opioid use disorder – reducing the likelihood someone will die from an opioid overdose by at least 50%. That’s exactly why this Administration is working tirelessly to increase access to treatment by establishing Opioid Treatment Programs in all 122 Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities across the country.”

The consistent delivery of MOUD while incarcerated and then immediately upon release could prevent upwards of 11,600 to 15,900 of these overdose deaths per year based on mathematical modeling. President Biden’s FY 2025 Budget calls for $4.1 billion for the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) FY 2025 Drug Control Budget to support further expansion of MOUD for treating individuals in BOP’s custody with an opioid use disorder.

The Biden-Harris Administration has made historic investments, taken historic action, and removed decades-long barriers to substance use disorder treatment and overdose reversal medication over the past three years to help address the overdose epidemic and save lives. President Biden is investing $83 billion in treatment, which is 42% more than was made the under the previous Administration.

The Administration’s historic efforts to increase access to treatment for people who are incarcerated include:

  • Allowing states to use Medicaid funds to provide health care services—including treatment for people with substance use disorder—to individuals in carceral settings;
  • Providing professionals at correctional settings with a performance management framework to monitor medication treatment for opioid use disorder in correctional settings;
  • Permitting Medicaid reimbursement for addiction treatment services 90 days prior to release from incarceration and connection to care upon release;
  • Permitting the use of State Opioid Response funds to be used for addiction treatment and services for people who are incarcerated;
  • Calling for $4.1 billion to expand MOUD for treating individuals in BOP’s custody with an opioid use disorder as part of the President’s FY25 budget request; and
  • Ensuring every jail and prison across the nation can provide treatment for substance use disorder.

Read the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic actions to expand access to treatment and save lives HERE.

Read Dr. Gupta and Senior Advisor to the President Tom Perez’s Joint Op-Ed on Expanding Access to Treatment for Substance Use Disorder in Correctional Settings HERE.


Stay Connected

Sign Up

We'll be in touch with the latest information on how President Biden and his administration are working for the American people, as well as ways you can get involved and help our country build back better.

Opt in to send and receive text messages from President Biden.

Scroll to Top Scroll to Top