April 27, 2021 – “Some physicians actually don’t want to prescribe it because they don’t want to go to the extra burden of doing the training,” says Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “So this will increase the number of people that can be treated. And buprenorphine is probably one of the most effective ways that we have for preventing people from overdosing from all of the opioids that are out there in the black market, which are actually quite dangerous.” More medical practitioners are being allowed to prescribe buprenorphine under new guidelines from the Biden administration.

The change means that the drug shown to reduce opioid relapses and overdose deaths can be more widely prescribed. It comes after a year of overdose deaths spiking across the United States. Early estimates indicate about 90,000 people died of drug overdoses in the 12 months ending in September, higher than has ever been recorded. It’s about an increase of 20,000 deaths from the previous 12-month period. The majority of drug overdose deaths involved opioids.



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