SMART Policy Briefs

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The DATA Waiver (or X waiver) requirement was removed in the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act, meaning providers no longer have to register with the DEA to prescribe buprenorphine as part of treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD). Federally, providers already authorized to prescribe controlled substances can now prescribe buprenorphine for OUD, but providers must still be aware of and follow any practicing state regulations. Whereas state law does not conflict with federal requirements for physicians, Tennessee state law still imposes limitations on buprenorphine prescribing for nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs). With the X-waiver removal, the United States’ overdose rates could possibly decline, given the results seen in other countries.

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