This article does not constitute legal advice. You should consult your attorney for specific advice.
By David Palmer, Esq
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is revising its existing regulations to expand access to medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) under the Easy Medication Access and Treatment for Opioid Addiction Act (the Act).
The final rule, entitled Dispensing of Narcotic Drugs to Relieve Acute Withdrawal Symptoms of Opioid Use Disorder, directs the DEA to revise its regulations to allow practitioners to dispense no more than a three-day supply of narcotic drugs to one person or for one person's use at one time to initiate maintenance treatment or detoxification treatment (or both). This revision also aims to significantly increase immediate, emergency access to medications for those suffering from acute withdrawal symptoms while awaiting long-term treatment.
By allowing practitioners to provide three days' worth of narcotics at one time, the DEA also believes that overdose deaths can be reduced by offering patients a short-term maintenance level until permanent treatment is arranged.
Impact on General Dentistry
As part of federal advocacy for the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act of 2021, the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) has been heavily involved in training prescribers of drugs for substance use disorders (SUDs).
To combat the opioid crisis, the AGD provides educational training to dentists on safe prescribing practices. Per the MATE Act, healthcare providers, including dentists, must complete a one-time, eight-hour training course on managing patients with substance use disorders to receive or renew their DEA registration to prescribe controlled substances.
Are You DEA MATE Compliant?
Meharry Medical College, in joint providership with the Washington AGD through its affiliation with DOCS Education, has created an 8-hour course* that fulfills the new one-time opioid course requirement for DEA registration. In total, you will receive 8 hours of CE.
(*The Drug Enforcement Administration does not approve specific courses, only specific educational providers. Meharry Medical College, a DEA-approved CERP provider, will issue the certificate upon completing this course.)
This on-demand course covers a range of topics related to opioid prescribing and pain management required by the MATE Act. Several issues are explored, including the risks and benefits of opioids, safe pharmacological management of dental pain, screening, treatment and management of patients with substance abuse disorders, education and counseling for the patient, recordkeeping procedures, and appropriate clinical application of all medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
This comprehensive online program is presented by world-renowned faculty members Steve Yun, MD, and Leslie Fang, MD, Ph.D.; John Hexem, MD, and Carol Wilson, DMD.
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Author: David Palmer, Esq. is an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Having spent time in private and corporate practice, he specializes in compliance, contract negotiation, insurance regulations, and healthcare. Outside of the office, David enjoys traveling and the outdoors.