DEA Final Rule on Dispensing Narcotic Drugs

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Aug 23, 2023
On August 7, 2023, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a final rule entitled, Dispensing of Narcotic Drugs to Relieve Acute Withdrawal Symptoms of Opioid Use Disorder. DEA is revising existing regulations to expand access to medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) pursuant to the Easy Medication Access and Treatment for Opioid Addiction Act (the Act). The Act directed DEA to revise its regulations to allow practitioners to dispense no more than a three-day supply of narcotic drugs to one person or for one person's use at one time for the purpose of initiating maintenance treatment or detoxification treatment (or both). The goal of the Act is to significantly expand immediate and emergency access to medications for individuals suffering from acute withdrawal symptoms while the individual awaits further, long-term treatment. DEA believes that allowing a practitioner to supply three days' worth of narcotic drugs at one time may help reduce overdose deaths by providing a short-term maintenance level of medications while arrangements are made for further, more permanent treatment.

Impact on General Dentistry: The AGD has been very involved with federal advocacy related to the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act of 2021, which is focused on training for prescribers of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment drugs and requires health care providers, including dentists to complete a one-time training on managing patients with SUDs as a condition of receiving or renewing a registration to prescribe controlled substances. The AGD actively trains dentists on safe prescribing protocol and is encouraged by regulations that are intended to ameliorate the opioid crisis.