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Buprenorphine Prescriber Training

The 8-hour training activities below meet the Federal training requirement of the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000). Completion will allow qualified physicians to apply for a waiver to their Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) license, and thus to provide office-based treatment of opioid use disorder with buprenorphine. Physicians wishing to become waiver eligible can complete any one of the activities below.

Educational Offerings

Instructions for Applying for a Buprenorphine Waiver

In December 2022, The Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act passed with the signing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 eliminating the buprenorphine waiver (X waiver). In order to prescribe buprenorphine to patients, you must still get a DEA license registration number, but the previously used DATA-Waiver registration numbers are no longer needed for any prescriptions. The Act also eliminated limits or patient caps on the number of patients a prescriber may treat for opioid use disorder with buprenorphine. The new 8 hours of education on opioid treatment requirements for all prescribers will go into effect June 21, 2023. APA will share more information as it becomes available.

HHS Releases Practice Guidelines for Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder (April 27, 2021)

In an effort to get evidenced-based treatment to more Americans with opioid use disorder, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new buprenorphine practice guidelines that among other things, remove a longtime requirement tied to training.

The Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder provides an exemption from certain certification requirements under 21 U.S.C. § 823(g)(2)(B)(i)-(ii) of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The Practice Guideline will be effective as soon as it is published in the federal register on April 28, 2021. As noted, eligible prescribers must submit a notice of intent to SAMHSA and receive a waiver before being able to treat patients under the Practice Guideline.

Specifically, the Practice Guidelines provide that:

  • With respect to the prescription of certain medications that are covered under applicable provisions of the CSA, such as buprenorphine, practitioners, defined as physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse midwives, who are licensed under state law, and who possesses a valid DEA registration, may be exempt from the certification requirements related to training, counseling and other ancillary services.
  • Practitioners utilizing the exemption are limited to treating no more than 30 patients at any one time. Time spent practicing under the exemption will not qualify the practitioner for a higher patient limit.
  • This exemption also allows practitioners to treat patients with buprenorphine without certifying as to their capacity to provide counseling and ancillary services.
  • Under the exemption, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse midwives are required to be supervised by, or work in collaboration with, a DEA registered physician if required by state law to work in collaboration with, or under the supervision of, a physician when prescribing medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder. This requirement does not apply to practitioners who are employees or contractors of a department or agency of the United States acting within the scope of such employment or contract.
  • Practitioners who do not wish to practice under the exemption and its attendant 30 patient limit may seek a waiver per established protocols.
  • The exemption applies only to the prescription of Schedule III, IV, and V drugs or combinations of such drugs, covered under the CSA, such as buprenorphine. It does not apply to the prescribing, dispensing, or the use of Schedule II medications such as methadone for the treatment of opioid use disorders.
  • Before treating patients with buprenorphine for opioid use disorder, practitioners are required to obtain a waiver under the CSA by submitting a Notice of Intent to SAMHSA under established protocols. Learn more about becoming a waivered practitioner here..

Practitioners may find more information about the exemption in HHS's Quick Start Guide (PDF | 1.5 MB) and HHS's FAQs.

Read HHS's press release about the new practice guidelines here.

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