Medication assisted therapy (MAT) for addiction has been available since 2000. Up until 2016, physicians have been the only healthcare providers able to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid addiction. On July 22, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA).
This is the first major federal addiction legislation in 40 years and the most comprehensive effort undertaken to address the opioid epidemic. CARA incorporated many needed resources to better manage patients with addiction, but one specific aspect of the legislation was focused at nurse practitioners and physician assistants: providing greater access to care by easing the restrictions on who could provide MAT after completion of continued education. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants caring for patients with chronic pain and addiction need continued education and empowerment to accept this level of responsibility.
This session will look at the history of addiction, past therapies, current therapies, and the future of addiction, specifically how it intersects with chronic pain management.
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