DEA moves to expand rural opioid addiction treatment - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

DEA moves to expand rural opioid addiction treatment

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WASHINGTON -

A move by a government agency announced on Wednesday is designed to make opioid addiction treatment available to more people.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration says that nurse practitioners and physician assistants who meet certain qualifications will have the authority to prescribe and dispense the opioid maintenance drug buprenorphine from their offices.

Prior to the enactment of the Drug Abuse Treatment Act of 2000, only physicians could treat opioid addicts and had to register with DEA as both physicians and operators of narcotic treatment programs.

Waiving this second registration prompted more physicians to offer treatment services.

The action brings DEA regulations into conformity with the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act passed by Congress and signed into law in 2016.

Prior to passage of the act, the vast majority of physicians served urban areas, leaving rural parts of the United States underserved.

The action provides more treatment options for addicts in rural parts of the country.

Senator Sherrod Brown's office says the move by the DEA is based on the senator's Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment Act (TREAT Act).

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