Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants Now Eligible to Prescribe Buprenorphine

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants will now be eligible to prescribe and dispense the opioid addiction treatment buprenorphine from their office, Reutersreports.

The Drug Enforcement Administration said the change will make it easier for residents of underserved areas to receive treatment for opioid addiction.

The new rule is a result of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act(CARA), passed in 2016. The law expanded access to substance use treatment services and overdose reversal medications by extending the privilege of prescribing buprenorphine in office-based settings to qualifying nurse practitioners and physician assistants. CARA requires that nurse practitioners and physician assistants complete 24 hours of training to be eligible to prescribe buprenorphine.

Full story at drugfree.org

Obama Signs Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

President Obama on Friday signed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which aims to combat opioid addiction. He said the measure does not provide adequate funding, The Hill reports.

“This legislation includes some modest steps to address the opioid epidemic,” Obama said in a statement. “Given the scope of this crisis, some action is better than none. However, I am deeply disappointed that Republicans failed to provide any real resources for those seeking addiction treatment to get the care that they need.”

Full story of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act at drugfree.org

Some Advocacy Groups Say House Opioid Abuse Bill Doesn’t Focus Enough on Recovery

Some addiction recovery groups say a U.S. House bill, the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act, does not focus enough on recovery, The Huffington Post reports. The groups say the House measure, to be introduced Wednesday, is weaker than the Senate version of the bill.

In March, the U.S. Senate voted 94-1 to pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). The measure authorizes funds for various drug treatment and prevention programs for a wide range of people, including those in jail.

CARA expands prescription drug take-back programs and establishes monitoring to prevent over-prescribing of opioid painkillers. It expands the availability of medication-assisted treatment, including in criminal justice settings, and supports treatment as an alternative to incarceration. The measure also calls for training and equipping first responders on the use of naloxone.

Full story on the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act at drugfree.org

Senate Votes to Advance Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act

The Senate on Monday voted 86-3 to advance the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), USA Today reports. A vote on the final passage of the bill is expected this week.

The measure has not yet been taken up by the House, the article notes.

The Act is sponsored by Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, a Democrat, and Rob Portman of Ohio, a Republican. The bill has bipartisan support and would expand prescription drug take-back programs and establish monitoring to prevent over-prescribing of opioid painkillers. It would expand the availability of medication-assisted treatment, including in criminal justice settings, and would support treatment as an alternative to incarceration.

The measure also calls for training and equipping first responders on the use of the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone.

Full story of Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act at drugfree.org