Attention Doctors! How You Can Help Patients with Opioid Addiction
- Attention Doctors! How You Can Help Patients with Opioid Addiction is also available as a printable, two-sided, tri-foldable brochure (PDF, 350KB)
The New York State Department of Health strongly urges physicians to become qualified to treat their patients who are addicted to opioids or to advise such patients to obtain treatment from a qualified physician.
The Problem is Urgent
- Every month the New York State Department of Health identifies thousands of patients who obtain controlled substance prescriptions from multiple prescribers within the same month, an activity often referred to as "doctor shopping."
- The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services estimates that 1.8 million New Yorkers require assistance with chemical dependency.
- According to the Federal Drug Abuse Warning Network, emergency room visits due to abuse of prescription drugs are higher than the number of visits due to abuse of marijuana and heroin combined.
- For every person addicted to heroin, there are two persons addicted to prescription narcotics.
- According to a survey of teenagers by the Partner ship for a Drug-Free America, 1 in 5 teens has tried prescription pain relievers such as hydrocodone to get high.
How You Can Become Qualified to Treat Opioid Addiction
A physician must be licensed under State law to practice medicine and obtain a waiver from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to prescribe or dispense buprenorphine. To obtain a waiver, a physician needs to meet one or more of the following conditions:
- A subspecialty board certification in addiction psychiatry from the American Board of Medical Specialties.
- An addiction certification from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).
- A subspecialty board certification in addiction medicine from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
- Not less than 8 hours of training in treatment and management of opiate-dependent patients from ASAM, the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, the American Medical Association, the AOA, the American Psychiatric Association or another accredited agency.
For more information about physician waiver qualifications, treatment training in your area, or to obtain a waiver, visit the SAMHSA website www.buprenorphine.samhsa.gov or contact SAMHSA at 1-866-BUP-CSAT (1-866-287-2728).
If You Do Not Wish to Become Qualified to Treat Opioid Addiction
If you do not wish to become qualified to treat opioid addiction, please refer your patient to a physician qualified to do so.
To search, go to www.buprenorphine.samhsa.gov. Click on "Data Physician Locator" under the "General" category.
This will bring you to a listing of qualified physicians, which you can search by city, county or zip code.
Questions May Be Directed to the Following Resources
New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
- General Information
- To Find Help for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
New York State Department of Health
Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Office of Applied Studies
Drug Abuse Warning Network
THIS PROJECT WAS SUPPORTED BY AWARD NUMBER
2003-PM-BX-0007 AWARDED BY THE BUREAU OF JUSTICE ASSISTANCE,
OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
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State of New York
Department of Health
Publication 1075 Revision 04/11