ASAM Board Member, Dr. Margaret Jarvis, testified in front of a Congressional Roundtable on the nation’s response to the “third wave” of this overdose crisis, accelerated by fentanyl and its analogues.
The following is Dr. Jarvis’ opening testimony supporting legislation to eliminate the DEA X-waiver in accordance with an ASAM Board vote:
Additionally, ASAM endorses The Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act, which would eliminate the separate DEA waiver to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of addiction, conditioned on the inclusion of additional provisions that would (1) eliminate DEA regulations on medications in Schedules III-V that are based on the prescribing intent to treat addiction, including ending related routine DEA audits, and (2) require all DEA controlled substance prescribers to complete medical education on addiction.
An effective way to accomplish the educational goal would be to transfer the training requirement from the X- waiver to the DEA controlled substance license and include new provisions that would allow accredited schools of medicine, advanced practice nursing, and physician assistants, as well as residency programs, to embed such training in their curricula. This would provide a glide path for phasing out the need for any separate, federally mandated addiction education course for these future practitioners.
Indeed, many of us have heard the heartbreaking analogy that the daily death toll of this crisis is equivalent to an airplane full of people crashing every day. With such a policy innovation, Congress would have the opportunity to send a powerful message — if you want a license to fly the “controlled substance” plane, then you need to know something about landing it.