In 2002, the Drug and Treatment Act (DATA 2000), and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA) allowed providers to acquire a waiver to permit the prescription of buprenorphine and buprenorphine/naloxone to patients suffering from withdrawal symptoms. This law is still valid as of today, and gives physicians the authorization to prescribe buprenorphine outside of a rehabilitation clinic.1
In order to obtain this waiver, physicians must first enroll and fulfill an 8 hour course in a DATA2000 accredited facility. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners can also participate in acquiring this waiver, and instead enroll in a 24 hour course. After the provider completes the training on opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment he or she must then contact the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to request this waiver. After the waiver is acquired there are still restrictions on how many patients the physician can prescribe the medication to. In the first year the provider can only prescribe the medication to 30 patients and if all requirements are met, the number of patients can then increase to 100 patients, and in the following year 275 patients. Prescriptions can continue to be made as long as the provider has had DEA certification.