Drug Addiction Treatment Act
The Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000) permits physicians who meet certain qualifications to treat opioid addiction with Schedule III, IV, and V narcotic medications that have been specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration for that indication. Such medications may be prescribed and dispensed by waived physicians in treatment settings other than the traditional Opioid Treatment Program (methadone clinic) setting.
Since there is only one narcotic medication approved by the FDA for the treatment of opioid addiction within the Schedules given, DATA 2000 basically refers to the use of buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid addiction. Methadone is a Schedule II narcotic approved for the same purpose within the highly regulated methadone clinic setting.
Under the Act, physicians may apply for a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid addiction or dependence. Requirements include a current State medical license, a valid DEA registration number, specialty or subspecialty certification in addiction from the American Board of Medical Specialties, American Society of Addiction Medicine, or American Osteopathic Association. Exceptions were also created for physicians who participated in the initial studies of buprenorphine and for State certification of addiction specialists. However, the Act is intended to bring the treatment of addiction back to the primary care provider. Thus most waivers are obtained after taking an 8 hour course from one of the five medical organizations designated in the Act and otherwise approved by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. When a physician qualifies for the waiver, he is given a second DEA number that begins with an 'X'. This new DEA number is only to be used when prescribing buprenorphine for the purpose of treating addictions. Once a physician obtains the waiver, he or she may treat up to 30 patients for narcotic addiction with buprenorphine. Recent changes to DATA 2000 have increased the patient limit to 100 for physicians that have had their waiver for a year or more and request the higher limit in writing.
- Wikipedia, Drug Addiction Treatment Act, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_Addiction_Treatment_Act