General physicians who undergo specialized training and earn a federal U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) waiver are eligible to prescribe buprenorphine (Subutex) for medication-assisted treatment.
Whether your doctor can prescribe Subutex will depend on:
- if they have received specialized training
- whether they have opted to prescribe without training
- how many patients they are currently treating with buprenorphine
Unlike methadone, Subutex can be prescribed and taken either in a physician’s office, in a treatment center for opioid addiction, or at home for opioid detox and long-term maintenance.
Who Can Prescribe Subutex?
Under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000, healthcare professionals who receive eight hours of specialized training can become eligible to prescribe Subutex for opioid addiction treatment.
Medical personnel who can prescribe Subutex include:
- general physicians
- nurse practitioners
- physician assistants
- clinical nurse specialists
- certified registered nurse anesthetists
- certified nurse midwives
Medical personnel can also forgo training to prescribe buprenorphine.
However, those who opt into that exemption will be limited to treating no more than 30 patients with buprenorphine at one time.
Patient Criteria For Receiving Subutex
Prescribing medications like Subutex for patients generally involves an assessment process, through which a doctor can determine whether Subutex is a suitable treatment option.
A full physical and mental health assessment, as well as an examination of the patient’s medical history, may be necessary to determine whether Subutex is a fitting treatment option.
Patient criteria for receiving buprenorphine includes:
- being over the age of 16
- meets DSM-V criteria for Opioid Use Disorder
Can My Doctor Prescribe Me Subutex For Pain?
Subutex, a brand name for buprenorphine, is not prescribed for chronic or acute pain.
Some generic and brand-name versions of buprenorphine (e.g. Butrans) are prescribed for pain. However, Subutex is solely prescribed for the treatment of opioid dependence and addiction.
Why Would A Doctor Prescribe Me Subutex?
Subutex is an opioid-based medication that is prescribed for the treatment of opioid use disorder, a substance use issue that affects roughly 1.6 million people in the United States.
Although Subutex is chemically similar to other opioid drugs, which are known to be highly addictive, Subutex doesn’t act on the brain in quite the same way.
When taken as prescribed, Subutex can:
- ease opioid withdrawal symptoms
- reduce opioid cravings
- reduce opioid misuse
- increase safety in the event of an opioid overdose
Find Subutex Treatment For Opioid Addiction Today
Subutex is a medication that can be prescribed by a doctor. It can also be administered as part of a full opioid treatment program for addiction through a drug rehab center.
If you or a loved one are looking for Subutex treatment for opioid abuse or addiction, we may be able to help.
Call our helpline today to learn more about Subutex and to find a medication-assisted treatment program near you.
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- Indian Health Service (IHS) — Buprenorphine Prescription Policy
- National Public Radio (NPR) — Online Treatment for Opioid Addiction Gets A Boost Under Coronavirus Rules
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Buprenorphine
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) — SUBUTEX (buprenorphine sublingual tablets)