CleanSlate Statement on Opioid Commission’s Final Report

CleanSlate is a national leader in the medical practice of addiction medicine, serving over 25,000 patients suffering with opioid and alcohol addiction since our inception, with more than 7,000 active patients.

We look forward to working with the administration to implement the recommendations in the Final Report from the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. We know stories like Vanessa Vitolo’s and Justin Phillips’s, shared today at the commission’s hearing, because we hear them every day in our 30 centers across the country. On their behalf and on behalf of our providers, we are grateful for the President’s attention to this public health emergency.

“CleanSlate providers are warriors for hope,” says CleanSlate CEO Greg Marotta. “The President’s declaration that the opioid epidemic is a national public health emergency and the Commission’s support for the advancement of evidence-based opioid addiction treatment should give us all hope that more support is on the way.”

Our experience leads us to believe that any response to this epidemic must acknowledge three things:

  1. Stigma about addiction and about addiction treatment inhibits patients from seeking effective treatment. Stigma must end in order to make meaningful progress to addressing the epidemic facing our nation.
  2. It is not easy for patients to access effective treatment. We must help people find the right treatment for their disease, the moment they need it.
  3. The historical treatment approach is not enough. Medicine has a role to play in managing opioid addiction. Ongoing medication management coupled with counseling support should be an integral component to any opioid treatment program.

We are grateful to see that the Commission’s report recognizes these basic tenets in its recommendations.

“Gov. Christie’s statement is clear: People need to stop being afraid or ashamed of seeking help when facing their addiction. Stigma kills,” says Marotta.

CleanSlate is particularly grateful for the recommendations that promote policies that improve access to evidence-based pharmacotherapy and support services for opioid addiction (MAT), including policies that address insurance and reimbursement barriers to accessing MAT.

According to Kelly J. Clark, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, “CleanSlate stands ready to treat our veterans and Tricare-covered military families with the evidence-based care they deserve. And we know there are not enough providers to care for drug court patients. Because CleanSlate is in 30 locations, we are uniquely positioned to help implement this recommendation.”

As an organization that works closely with a broad spectrum of healthcare providers, health plans, employers, and corrections organizations in each of the communities we serve, we also applaud the Report’s focus on collaboration and partnership. We look forward to the opportunity to work with the Administration and its agencies in implementing these important recommendations.

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