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The Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000

Signed by President Clinton on October 17, 2000, this law allows for a new office-based treatment of opioid withdrawal and addiction using buprenorphine.

The following restrictions apply:

1) The physician receives training in opioid addiction treatment.
2) The physician registers with Health and Human Services.
3) The physician receives a special number to add to his DEA license to prescribe scheduled drugs.
4) The drug prescribed is approved by the FDA as useful in the treatment of addiction. Buprenorphine meets those requirements. Subutex and Suboxone tablets were approved by the FDA on October 8, 2002. Suboxone film strips were approved on August 31, 2010.
5) The drug prescribed may not be a schedule II narcotic, but only III, IV or V. Buprenorphine is schedule III.
6) The physician may only prescribe medication to 30 patients at one time for the first year after certification. The physician can apply for approval to prescribe medication to 100 patients after that as needed. New regulations introduced in 2017 allow for select providers in qualified treatment settings to request to prescribe to 275 patients.
7) The physician must provide access to counseling services for the addicted patient either on-site or through referral to off-site providers.