Opioid addiction is a chronic medical disorder that has both physical and behavioral traits, and is one of the fastest growing health concerns in the United States. Individuals who are opioid dependent can experience both physical and psychological dependence, risk premature death, and often suffer from HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and other sexually transmitted diseases. In 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved buprenorphine for use in the treatment of opioid addiction to drugs such as heroin and morphine or prescription painkillers like Oxycontin, Demerol and Vicodin, thereby adding a new tool for the treatment of opioid addiction that could be administered in physician offices. Buprenorphine has been proven to be a safe and effective medication, but physicians need to be specially certified to prescribe it, and also must meet certain requirements to provide office-based treatment.
Improving Access to Office-Based Treatment for Opioid Addiction
The Center for a Healthy Maryland and MedChi have been at the forefront of attempts to educate and engage Maryland physicians in utilizing this new medication for office-based treatment of opioid addiction. The goal of this initiative is to increase the number of individuals in Maryland receiving substance abuse treatment services by building capacity among physicians, especially those practicing in a primary care setting, and developing appropriate policy and practice interventions to increase access to addictions care.
→ Click here for Physician Requirements to Prescribe Buprenorphine
→ Click here for Physician Resources for Buprenorphine Treatment
→ Click here for Preparing for DEA Inspection Regarding Buprenorphine Prescribing
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On-Line Certification Training
Eight hours of certification training are required for physicians to prescribe buprenorphine. This training can be obtained through a web-based course offered by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, www.asam.org or the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, www.aaap.org.
For more information about the Maryland Buprenorphine Initiative, please contact:
Shayna Banfield, M.S., CHES
Director of Programs
Phone: 410-539-0872 or 800-492-1056, ext. 3341