AUGUSTA — Maine’s U.S. senators are calling on the federal government to provide more access to treatment for people who are addicted to prescription painkillers.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins, independent Sen. Angus King and a group of their Senate colleagues recently wrote a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, urging her to ensure that more people have access to medication-assisted therapy.

The senators say that federal regulations block adequate access to medication-assisted therapy, which involves a combination of medication and therapeutic services for addicts.

They say the treatment has been proven to reduce drug use and overdose risk for people with substance abuse problems, among other things, and are asking Burwell to increase the number of patients that physicians are allowed to treat at one time.

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