SAMHSA offers a variety of training resources on medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as well as other substance use disorder treatment topics to educate and assist programs and practitioners to provide evidence-based treatment.
People who provide MAT services work in a range of prevention, health care, and social service settings. They include psychiatrists, psychologists, pharmacists, nurses, social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, peer professionals, clergy, and many others.
Training a diverse and qualified behavioral health workforce is essential to meeting the nation’s needs. SAMHSA provides multiple training opportunities for MAT and general substance use disorder treatment.
To receive a practitioner waiver to administer, dispense, and prescribe buprenorphine, practitioners must notify SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Division of Pharmacologic Therapies (DPT) of their intent to practice this form of medication-assisted treatment (MAT). The NOI must be submitted to SAMHSA before the initial dispensing or prescribing of OUD treatment medication. Recently published Practice Guidelines (LINK) have created two distinct pathways within the Notification of Intent (NOI)application to prescribe Buprenorphine:
- In order to apply for subsequent increases in the number of clients eligible for treatment with buprenorphine, providers are obliged to undertake required training activities. Completion of required training accompanies the NOI. This pathway recognizes the importance of specialized training in managing a larger panel of patients who might require treatment with buprenorphine.
- To expand access to buprenorphine, the Practice Guidelines for the Administration of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder, 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.
An eligible provider may choose to undertake training, or forego it prior to prescribing Buprenorphine. As noted above, those who forego training are limited to treating no more than 30 patients at any one time.
Payment Program for Rural Health Clinics Buprenorphine-Trained Providers. In June 2021, the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) launched an effort to improve access to medications for opioid use disorder treatment by paying for providers who are waivered to prescribe buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid use disorder. Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) still have the opportunity to apply for a $3,000 payment on behalf of each provider who trained to obtain the waiver necessary to prescribe buprenorphine after January 1, 2019. Approximately $1.2 million in program funding remains available for RHCs and will be paid on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. Information and registration for free waiver training is available. Please contact DATA2000WaiverPayments@hrsa.gov with any questions.
Learn more at Practitioner Training.
Learn more about medication and counseling treatment.
Resources and Publications
- The Facts about Buprenorphine for Treatment of Opioid Addiction - 2015 – also available in Cambodian/Khmer, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese
- Medication for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Brief Guide – 2015
- SAMHSA's Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit: Safety Advice for Patients and Family Members – 2018
- TIP 63: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder – Introduction to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment (Part 1 of 5) – 2020
SAMHSA offers additional resources and publications.