SAMHSA Finalizes Rule on Medications for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder

On January 31, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published final revisions to federal regulations surrounding opioid use disorder treatment standards, including accreditation and certification standards for opioid treatment programs (OTP). The final rule addresses several longstanding barriers to broader use of medications to treat opioid use disorder.    Among other changes, the revised policy formalizes various methadone treatment protocols at OTPs that were put in place during the pandemic, and expands access to take-home methadone.  The finalized rule also adds to the workforce and their capabilities, expanding the definition of OTP practitioner to include Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, among other types of clinician, and allowing for MOUD prescribing via telehealth.  The effective date of this final rule is April 2, 2024 and the compliance date is October 2, 2024.

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