Covid-19 pushed U.S. patient care to the brink. In response, take-home policies for opioid treatment medications use were temporarily relaxed. There’s evidence that these changes were massively beneficial. Now a federal agency is moving to make the changes permanent—and even expand them.
The rule change, by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will make it easier to bring beneficial, sometimes life-saving, medications to people suffering from opioid use.
We’re talking about such drugs as buprenorphine (Suboxone, Sublocade), methadone, and naloxone (Narcan, Evzio). When properly used, buprenorphine and methadone can reduce cravings and dependency on opioids, providing immense help on the journey to recovery. And Naloxone, quite simply, saves lives, by rapidly reverse an opioid overdose or poisoning.
The pandemic-era rule changes allowed such medications to be more easily prescribed for home use. Despite huge challenges in accessing health care in the last several years, use of these medications has actually increased—sometimes dramatically, and with no evidence of misuse or bad outcomes.
Little wonder that the rules changes are about to become permanent. The new guidelines will also expand the number of qualified practitioners authorized to prescribe such medications.
Some good news as we round out 2022! Read the details here: