Buprenorphine is only available by prescription from a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant who has completed eight hours of training to obtain the DATA (Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000) Waiver.
Health care providers' beliefs about people who use substances, and the stigma attached to substance use disorders, may also influence decisions to prescribe buprenorphine or other addiction treatment medications.
Given physicians’ reluctance to become buprenorphine prescribers, treatment agencies will first need to work to secure their buy-in for the medication.
Buprenorphine side effects are low, and lower than other opioid treatment alternatives such as methadone.
Barriers of time and distance can limit access to buprenorphine prescribing physicians. In some areas, buprenorphine prescribing physicians are located in urban areas or near medical schools.