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SUPPORT Act: Too Little, Too Late

09/27/2019

SAMHSA: "The SUPPORT Act extends the privilege of prescribing buprenorphine in office-based settings to Clinical Nurse Specialists, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, and Certified Nurse Midwives (CNSs, CRNSs, and CNMs)* until October 1, 2023." Limits on the number of medication assisted treatment patients per practice will remain.

SUPPORT: "Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment"

Although a step in the right direction, any continued restriction of availability of safer buprenorphine is not justified while making more dangerous opioids widely available and propping up the black market. The fantasy that futile attempts to avoid "prescribing narcotics to drug addicts" will solve the problem must die if we want to save the lives of those vulnerable to addiction instead of just pretending to do.

To truly "support" everyone, we should remove all limits to prescribing buprenorphine now. Better yet, make the drug available over-the-counter without a prescription like more addictive tobacco and more dangerous alcohol.