How Physicians Can Find Training on Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependency

Research has shown that medication-assisted treatment (MAT) – a combination of medication and psychosocial support such as counseling or evidence-based behavioral therapy – can be effective in treating opioid dependency.

Prescription-Bottles-pills-webThe Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 enables physicians to qualify to treat opioid dependency with buprenorphine products if they are:

  • Licensed under state law
  • Registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to dispense controlled substances
  • Treating no more than 30 patients at a time within the first year
  • Qualified by training and/or certification

Physicians can complete an eight-hour training to qualify for a waiver to prescribe and dispense buprenorphine. They must also be able to refer patients to counseling and other services.

Ongoing MAT Training Opportunities

On Nov. 30, 2018, the Providers Clinical Support System released a free, 8-hour online course for physicians who wish to apply for a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine. Access the online MAT waiver training.

You can find additional educational opportunities for physicians supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Training options include a course (The Providers Clinical Support System for MAT Self Study at the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine) that blends a live 4.25 webinar session with a 3.75 hour online session.

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants can also apply for an MAT waiver if they meet requirements, including 24 hours of training. Get details here.

Upcoming Education from Penn State College of Medicine

Penn State is launching an opioid use disorder MAT educational series – conducted via videoconferencing – on May 22, 2019, 8-9 a.m., with 12 additional one-hour sessions taking place every other week. The series will allow specialists and primary care providers collaborate to discuss de-identified patient cases and develop recommendations for patient care.

If you are ready to enroll in this cohort, Penn State asks that you complete a survey so that they can make these sessions more valuable to you. The survey will serve as your official registration. Take Survey

Penn State College of Medicine is also hosting a free virtual DATA 2000 buprenorphine waiver training on March 6, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Following the session, participants will receive a link to complete three additional modules independently. You can RSVP for this waiver training by emailing a response to

Additional Resources

SAMHSA offers a variety of MAT resources, including:

For Pennsylvania Medical Society resources on the opioid abuse crisis, visit

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