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About the Division of Pharmacologic Therapies (DPT)

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Learn how SAMHSA’s Division of Pharmacologic Therapies (DPT) works to oversee medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders.

The Division of Pharmacologic Therapies (DPT), part of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) manages the day-to-day oversight activities necessary to implement federal regulations on the use of substance use disorder medications such as methadone and buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD).

DPT supports the certification and accreditation of more than 1,800 opioid treatment programs (OTPs) that collectively treat more than 600,000 patients each year.

Learn more about SAMHSA’s certification and accreditation of OTPs and oversight of OTP Accrediting Bodies.

DPT also implements the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000) and Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT Act). These laws expand the clinical context of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) by allowing qualified practitioners to dispense or prescribe medications for the treatment of OUD in settings other than OTPs and other facilities.

To further expand the access of buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder, The Department of Health and Human Services issued Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder, which exempts eligible physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse midwives from the certification requirements related to training, counseling and other ancillary services (i.e., psychosocial services) under 21 U.S.C. § 823(g)(2)(B)(i)-(ii) of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

Practitioners utilizing this exemption are limited to treating no more than 30 patients at any one time (time spent practicing under this exemption will not qualify the practitioner for a higher patient limit). This exemption applies only to the prescription of Schedule III, IV, and V drugs or combinations of such drugs, covered under the CSA, such as buprenorphine.

Alternatively, those providers who wish to apply for subsequent increases in the number of clients eligible for treatment with buprenorphine, may elect to undertake required training activities. Completion of required training forms part of the Notification of Intent (NOI) to prescribe buprenorphine, and recognizes the importance of specialized training in managing a larger panel of complex patients with MAT.

Learn about the different medications and counseling used in MAT approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat substance use disorders.

Find information on buprenorphine waiver training or SAMHSA training and resources.

SAMHSA has developed a Buprenorphine Quick Start Guide (PDF | 1.4 MB) and pocket guide (PDF | 200 KB) for all practitioners seeking to prescribe buprenorphine.

Learn more about the statutes, regulations, and guidelines that govern MAT.

Contact SAMHSA’s OTP Compliance Officers.

Last Updated

Last Updated: 02/22/2022