Enhancing Maine’s Addiction Medicine Care:
University of New England’s efforts to educate prescribers of the future
What is the grant?
Funded by a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Maine Provider Clinical Support System – University (Maine PCSS-U) at the University of New England seeks to address the disparity between healthcare providers offering Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and people seeking care for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) on both a local and national level. Supporting physician education is vital to addressing this “treatment gap” and improving patient access and care.
What are the goals/objectives of the grant?
By the end of the grant, 350 physicians and 150 physician assistants will be waiver trained before graduating, preparing them to provide evidence-based medication assisted treatment once they are licensed. The waiver training also serves to expose future clinicians to the urgency of the opioid epidemic and the realities of those living with OUD, ensuring that all UNE COM and PA graduates possess the knowledge, skills and values necessary to provide person-first, compassionate and holistic care.
What is the DATA 2000 Waiver?
The DATA 2000 Waiver allows providers to prescribe or dispense buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorders. The waiver training will assist medical students who wish to eventually apply for a waiver. Students can take the course during their educational program and apply for their waiver when they obtain their full DEA license. The course certificate of completion does not expire.
Maine has 914 waivered providers* and an estimated 17,000** persons with OUD, a large gap between those certified to provide care and those who need it.
* Pew analysis of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Active Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Registrants database.
** Kaiser Family Foundation retrieved 3.22.2020 from https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/past-year-opioid-use-disorder/?dataView=1¤tTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D
What is MAT?
Medication Assisted Treatment is an evidence-based approach to treating OUD with medication and behavioral health support. In a NIDA review of the literature, MAT was shown to: decrease opioid use, opioid related overdose deaths, criminal activity, and infectious disease transmission; increase social functioning, including reducing craving and relief for withdrawal symptoms, and retention in treatment; and improve outcomes for babies of opioid-dependent pregnant women (NIDA (2016, Nov.1). Effective Treatments for Opioid Addiction. Retrieved from https://drugabuse.gob/ effective-treatments-opioid-addiction-0 on 2019, June 1).