New Jersey residents in treatment for opioid addiction will now be allowed to use medical marijuana, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday, one of several steps he outlined to combat the enduring opioid epidemic.
With drug overdose deaths continuing to rise in New Jersey, Murphy also announced that starting in April, Medicaid will end its policy of requiring prior authorization for medication-assisted treatment for opioid-use disorder.
Although medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, has been spurned by some as substituting one drug for another, substantial evidence exists that it is the most effective method of treating opioid addiction when used together with therapy. Prior authorizations have been a barrier to some people receiving lifesaving treatment in a timely fashion, Murphy said.