April 5, 2022 – In guidelines published Tuesday, the department’s Civil Rights Division said employers, health care providers, law enforcement agencies that operate jails and others are violating the Americans with Disabilities Act if they discriminate against people for taking prescription drugs to treat opioid use disorder. “People who have stopped illegally using drugs should not face discrimination when accessing evidence-based treatment or continuing on their path of recovery,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said in a statement.

The nation’s addiction overdose crisis has intensified in recent years. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last year that more than 100,000 people had died from overdoses over a 12-month period, the highest level ever recorded.

Most of the deaths are linked to opioids, which include prescription painkillers, morphine, heroin and potent laboratory-made drugs such as fentanyl that often are mixed into the supplies of other illegal drugs.


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