Advocacy for patients with opioid use disorder: A primer for physicians and other clinicians on the Americans with Disabilities Act

Anna Maria South, Laura Fanucchi, Michelle Lofwall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Americans with opioid use disorder (OUD) have a disability that is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Physicians may observe ADA violations when patients are forced to stop taking medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) as part of an entity’s blanket policy that prohibits MOUD or when patients are denied medical treatment for various illnesses due to having an OUD diagnosis and/or receiving MOUD. Physicians and patients are likely unaware of how to identify potential ADA violations or what to do when they encounter one. This article will explain the ADA and how its protections are applicable to patients with OUD using several case examples. Physicians will learn to recognize possible ADA violations and how to file a report with the Assistant United States Attorney. The article will outline how previous ADA settlements have addressed barriers to MOUD treatment access and highlight the need for more clinicians to serve as advocates to ensure all public entities and accommodations are in compliance with the ADA as it pertains to patients with OUD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Opioid Management
Volume19
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Journal of Opioid Management, All Rights Reserved.

Keywords

  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • clinician education
  • opioid use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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