Skip to main content

A call to Arms

By November 16, 2019Uncategorized

Opiate overdose was the cause of death for nearly 48,000 Americans in 2017, and within the past two years this number has continued to  skyrocket. The treatment of addiction using both methadone and buprenorphine has proven to be useful in counteracting these staggering statistics, but unfortunately the rate of medical staff using these treatment methods is quite low. The main administrators of buprenorphine and methadone are those working in treatment clinics, however the increasing opioid use disorder (OUD) diagnosis have proven that more providers need to become trained in dealing with this current crisis.

 Under various laws that have been passed during the last twenty years, physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants have been given the opportunity to assist in treating OUD patients through the use of buprenorphine, after obtaining an X waiver, which entails 8-24 hours of training through a federally approved facility. Although the X waiver had been put in place, a mere 5% of providers have trained to receive it. 80% of those who were diagnosed with OUD, however are not receiving the necessary treatment. It is crucial that all providers both encourage colleagues to become waivered, and to obtain waivers for themselves. 1