Opioid addiction isn’t taking a break during the coronavirus pandemic.
But the U.S. response to the viral crisis is making addiction treatment easier to get.
Under the national emergency declared by the Trump administration in March, the government has suspended a federal law that required patients to have an in-person visit with a physician before they could be prescribed buprenorphine, a drug that helps quell withdrawal symptoms. Patients can now get those prescriptions via a phone call or videoconference with a doctor.
Addiction experts have been calling for that change for years to help expand access for patients in many parts of country that have shortages of physicians eligible to prescribe these medication-assisted treatments. A federal report in January found that 40% of U.S. counties don’t have a single health care provider approved to prescribe buprenorphine.
Source: California Healthline