Special DEA number needed for providers treating opioid dependency

The Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000) permits qualified physicians to obtain a waiver through a certification process, which allows that practitioner to treat opioid dependence with medications specifically approved by the FDA for that indication. To date, buprenorphine containing products are the only FDA approved products for the treatment of opioid dependence.

After providers obtain a waiver, a special DEA number which begins with an “X” is assigned to the physician who intends to practice in this field. This DEA number is required by law to appear on all prescriptions intended for the treatment of opioid dependence. Independent Health also requires the special DEA number to appear on all prescriptions in order to be a valid prescription claim.

It is the duty of the provider to obtain this certification prior to providing treatment of opioid dependence. If the prescriber is not certified and does not individually hold a special DEA number intended for use in this treatment, he/she shall not prescribe any medications intended for treatment of addiction. If the practitioner does not have a special DEA number and wishes to obtain one, please refer to the DATA 2000 for guidance on becoming a certified practitioner.