General News

  • April 01, 2020 4:00 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    The Drug Enforcment Agency (DEA) has partnered with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to ensure authorized practitioners may admit and treat new patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) during the COVID-19 public health emergency. In light of the extraordinary circumstances presented by the COVID-19 public health emergency, and being mindful of the exemption issued by SAMHSA, DEA likewise advises that, only for the duration of the public health emergency (unless DEA specifies an earlier date), OTPs should feel free to dispense, and DATA-waived practitioners should feel free to prescribe, buprenorphine to new patients with OUD for maintenance treatment or detoxification treatment following an evaluation via telephone voice calls, without first performing an in-person or telemedicine evaluation. [Read full DEA letter]

  • March 23, 2020 12:21 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Join our LIVE Webinar
    March 27, 2020 at 3:00 PM EDT


    The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 enacted by Congress on March 6, 2020. As a result, this would allow broader use of and payment for telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries during the emergency period as defined under the legislation.

    These recent changes in telemedicine regulations open new opportunities in patient assessment for Medications for Addiction Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders.

    Many communities are adopting telehealth as one way to address gaps in access to treatment for mental and substance use disorders for Rural, Urban, Tribal, Limited-Transportation, Emergency Medical Crisis Disposition and Justice-Involved Populations.

    This webinar, hosted by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine through a Opioid Response Network STR-TA grant, will present ways to incorporate telemedicine into treatment programming for substance use disorders, including how to evaluate and expand access to Medications for Addiction Treatment (MAT) using telemedicine, types of telehealth provider settings, implementation of PCSS best practices and evolving barriers. Billing codes will also be addressed.

    Speaker: William Morrone, DO, MS, MPH, DABAM, FACOFP, DAAPM

    Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by grant no. 6H79TI080816 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

  • March 18, 2020 10:24 AM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    For as long as the Secretary of the Department of Health’s designation of a public health emergency remains in effect, DEA-registered practitioners may issue prescriptions for buprenorphine and other controlled substances to patients for whom they have not conducted an in-person medical evaluation, provided all of the following conditions are met:

    ·     The prescription is issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a practitioner acting in the usual course of his/her professional practice

    ·     The telemedicine communication is conducted using an audio-visual, real-time, two-way interactive communication system.

    ·     The practitioner is acting in accordance with applicable Federal and State law.

    Provided the practitioner satisfies the above requirements, the practitioner may issue the prescription using any of the methods of prescribing currently available and in the manner set forth in the DEA regulations. Thus, the practitioner may issue a prescription either electronically (for schedules II-V) or by calling in an emergency schedule II prescription to the pharmacy, or by calling in a schedule III-V prescription to the pharmacy. [Learn more]

  • March 12, 2020 4:02 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)
    • NIDA Director Dr. Volkow has published two new blog posts:
    1. COVID-19: Potential Implications for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders:
    2. Connection between Sleep and Substance Use Disorders:
    • The next meeting of the NIH HEAL Initiative’s Multi-Disciplinary Working Group (MDWG) will take place on March 18, 2020 at 8:30 am. The MDWG includes external experts in pain and addiction research from across the scientific and advocacy communities and convenes regularly to ensure broad engagement with the initiative’s research aims and plans. The meeting will be webcast:

    The agenda is here:

    • National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week® is coming up: March 30-April 5

    NDAFW is a week of educational events that annually brings together teens and scientific experts to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about substance use and addiction. For more information and to learn how your organization can participate, please see:

  • February 27, 2020 4:53 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    New ORN Impact Data

    The Opioid Response Network is reaching more people in effort to help states, organizations and individuals address the opioid crisis at the community level through free education and training. Since the beginning of the initiative (February 2018 - January 2020) we have reached 3,020,695 people. 

    Lessons Learned

    Over 35 States Represented in Rhode Island on Treating Opioid Use Disorder in Corrections Settings 

    What started as a technical assistance request from the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) became a national conference for department of corrections staff and others in the justice system to learn promising models in implementing Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD).

    The free, 2.5-day meeting was held from January 28-30, 2020 in Providence, RI. It highlighted RIDOC's model (one of the first states to incorporate MOUD state-wide, offering all three FDA approved medications), as well as other evidence-based delivery models from around the country.

    Over 230 people, representing 34 states, attended the conference, which featured plenary sessions with leading behavioral health, clinical, justice and corrections experts followed by skills development workshops. Read More 

    Conferences and Events

    Pilot Projects Uses Standardized Patients to Train Clinicians

    In an effort to help providers with the waiver to prescribe medications and to enhance their comfort level, the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), an ORN partner organization, hosted a pilot project using standardized patients. The intent was to help prescribers feel more confident in prescribing medications to treat opioid use disorders.

    The training was held on January 25, 2020 and included a small group of physicians, a physician assistant and a nurse practitioner. All were waivered, but have not yet prescribed. Participants were asked to run an assessment for opioid use disorder and then develop a treatment plan. The training provided an opportunity for the prescribers to ask the standardized patient/actor questions and learn from an experienced prescriber.

    According to PAEA's John Lopes, DHSc, PA-C, all participants indicated that the experience helped improve their..... Read More

    Addressing Stigma in the Emergency Room

    On January 23, 2020, ORN partner organization, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), convened a summit called Addressing Opioid Stigma in the Emergency Department. The 46 attendees included federal partners from the Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Drug Enforcement Agency and National Institute on Drug Abuse, as well as health care physicians, providers and leaders in the field of medicine.

    The summit was an opportunity to discuss and share lessons learned and ideas about how to limit the impact of stigma on the care of emergency room patients with opioid use disorder. From the session, ACEP is developing a policy statement, a policy resource and education paper, and a paper on the role of stigma in the emergency department and how to effectively eliminate it. Read more.

    Read the full ORN Bulletin

  • February 08, 2020 1:17 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    At the Maine Osteopathic Association meeting, UNECOM students recently presented a poster addressing the utilization of geographic information systems in developing best practices in containing and controlling the opiate epidemic in Maine. Clusters of overdosed citizens were plotted. This led to other maps addressing the need for medication assisted treatment and increasing access to qualified certified Addiction Medicine professionals.

    UNECOM students placed 3rd in this competition. Congratulations to a job well done!

  • October 18, 2019 10:41 AM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    Emergency Room Physicians Overcoming Barriers to Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

    The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is working to address barriers to treating opioid use disorder in emergency departments across the country. ACEP, an ORN partner, has developed new trainings, podcasts and a mobile app, all aimed at its 38,000 members.

    Emergency room physicians, Eric Ketcham, MD, FACEP, and Kathryn Hawk, MD, MHS, discussed these educational products in an episode of ACEP Frontline, a podcast that reaches over 5,000 listeners. Opening, Dr. Ketcham said: “We’re the ones engaging with patients with opioid use disorder when they’re really at their worst. We have this opportunity to engage with a very captive audience, treat them more effectively and compassionately when they’re in withdrawal and make a bridge into treatment." He describes the emergency room as “a catchment area for a lot of folks in crisis” and that emergency department physicians can make a significant mortality and morbidity impact. Read further.

    The Collection of Opioid Response Network Brochures is Growing. At you will find new prevention, recovery and American Indian/ Alaskan Native brochures.

    Are You Interested in Exhibiting On Behalf of ORN? If so, please first check the exhibit tracking sheet to see if another party has already registered. If not, notify and We are striving to avoid duplication and to also have TTSs exhibit as much as possible as it supports their role as the point person for each community. If you can not access the exhibit tracking sheet, please let Jane or Nic know.

    Have You or a Requester Been Approached by the Media? If yes, that's great! If a news outlet wants to report on your work for ORN, we ask that you first inform and

    and coordinate all efforts with the press through them. SAMHSA wants to make sure we are consistent in our message and it gives Jane and Nic an opportunity to help track and highlight for the website and newsletter. They are also available to help to prepare.

    Read more.
  • September 30, 2019 2:54 PM | Judy Pfeiffer (Administrator)

    On Tuesday September 24th, the University of New England Student Chapter of AOAAM held an opioid overdose response training put on by the Portland, Maine Public Health Department for students from all the health profession schools as well as undergraduates. It was extremely helpful to hear from those who are in the midst of the crisis how we can all be prepared for such an event. They provided an inside perspective into how Maine is approaching this overwhelming issue.


    Catherine Frye on behalf of University of New England Student Chapter of AOAAM

The mission of the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine is to improve the health of individuals and families burdened with the disease of addiction.

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