NP's Not Able to Prescribe Opiate Addition Cessation Drugs Research Paper

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However, given the apparent general preference of doctors to not prescribe the drug even if they can, that is not of much benefit in the long run (O'Connor, 2010).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Research Paper on NP's Not Able to Prescribe Opiate Addition Cessation Drugs Assignment

The National Institute of Drug Abuse weighed in on the subject of prescribing buprenorphine and noted that drug addiction is a chronic condition on par with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. While some may scoff at the idea of drug addiction being the same as diabetes or heart issues, the parallels are quite easy to see. All three of the conditions are often (if not entirely) due to personal behavior and lifestyle choices, all three have an onset and all three are affected by the patient's ongoing behavior, choices and reactions to the condition. Indeed, a diabetic's future would be determined in large part by whether they become more active, eat healthier and so forth. Also important are the familial and cultural influences that feed the same. Much the same thing can be said of drug addicts. For example, one of the major things that drug addicts are implored to do as part of their treatment plan is to avoid people, situations and areas that could lead to relapse. For example, prior alcohol addicts should avoid bars and people addicted to opiates should avoid taking opiates, even for valid reasons, at all costs and they should also avoid situations where this could happen in a social or private situation such as sharing pills with a friend or family member. Indeed, they are also similar in that not all people hooked on pills or subject to heart disease/diabetes got into their situation entirely of their own doing. Many people that get hooked on Oxycontin and the like do so while taking the drug for valid reasons such as back surgery or general chronic pain of any sort. As such, to be mocking or incendiary when medical professionals lump diabetes and drug addiction treatment into the same discssuion should really be less ignorant and understanding. They should understand that while some people actively and intentionally abuse heroin and the prescription variants, many people simply are weak due to pain or mental illness and/or they do not think there is a way out of their dilemma. One major way to address this dynamic is to allow nurse practitioners to help assist with the problem rather than box them out of being able to provide a solution (O'Connor, 2010).

Indeed, the cost to train nurse practitioners to prescribe and discuss buprenorphine is about the same as it would be for physicians. Further, it was found with patients in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada that health outcomes were not noticeably different for patients treated by fully licensed physicians as compared to nurse practitioners executing and performing the same tasks. However, between the unwillingness of physicians to use buprenorphine and the fact that the amount of doctors seems to veering into dangerous territory, it is important to mitigate such conditions as much as possible so long as patients and the public are not endangered. The research clearly shows that no such thing would happen if nurse practitioners are able to prescribe buprenorphine drugs. Disallowing nurse practitioners to use the drug effectively denies the access of patients to life-sustaining and life-improvement treatments and there does not seem to be a common-sense reason or motive behind the rules that are currently on record. It is suggest by many that industry professional groups that are comprised in whole or in part by nurse practitioners should issue position statements and urge the licensing boards as well as the United States government to reconsider its stance or at least find a way to justify why the restriction remains as the current laws on the books do little to nothing to address that concern. Major steps have been taken in recent years that are along the same lines and of similar in benefit to what this would do such as needle exchange program funding and so forth. Visting this subject under the same auspices might yield similar results sooner rather than later and this would be a wonderful thing for the addiction treatment sector of medicine and its patients (O'Connor, 2010).

Also important to consider is whether nurse practitioners that are eventually (hopefully) allowed to prescribe buprenorphine should be relegated only to specialized areas of medicine that deal with addictions (such as is the case with methadone) or if a broader subset (if not all) nurse practitioners should be allowed to prescribe buprenorphine. Indeed, many people who are depressed and/or anxious specifically go to a psychiatrist (or a nurse practitioner supervised by the same) to get anti-depressants or anti-anxiety drugs. However, standard physicians who do not specialize in mental illness or psychiatry are actually able to prescribe the same drugs and they often do. Between that and the fact that access to specialized clinics is not going to be optimal in many areas, the idea of keeping buprenorphine out of clinics that are not specifically geared towards addition would not be the best idea. It is, of course, probably best that it be limited to those clinics but doctors and nurse practitioners in areas without easy access to those services should have that as an option (Rundio, 2012).


The statements up to this point regarding the literature have mostly been a review of the articles culled for this report. However, this section contains the final assertions and opinions of the author of this report based on the totality of the research and the author's feelings about the situation at hand. First, there is not a rational reason why nurse practitioners cannot and should not be able to prescribe buprenorphine. There is a sore need for more medical professionals that can dispense the drug and the current physcians in this country are not meeting the demand and need for it. On a related note, doctors are apparently unwilling to treat drug addicts a lot of the time, instead seemingly treating them like lepers. While many that use opiates are part of their own problem, this does not mean that rational and reasonable efforts should not be made to address the problem. Using and leveraging taxpayer money for the problem would be a better and more effective idea but private sector medicine should be allowed to be a relief valve or the only option if none others exist. Finally, Congress is yet again entirely behind the curve as it relates to legislation. They tend to be that way, at least in the opinion of the author of this report, when it comes to most subjects relating to medicine and technology of any complexity.


It is not beyond the pale or unreasonable to exercise a good amount of caution when prescribing and dispensing drugs that are opiates or are the least bit related such as detoxification drugs and so forth. Indeed, people at a certain level of addiction can literlaly die if they are not weaned off the drugs in an orderly and organized way. However, not all patietns hooked on opiates require that level of care and indeed it would be wise to scale the response to the level of the problem so that the minor addicts can be addressed without burdening the system.


Fornili, K., & Burda, C. (2009). Buprenorphine Prescribing: Why Physicians Aren't and Nurse Prescribers Can't. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 20(4), 218-226.

O'Connor, A.B. (2011). Nurse Practitioners' Inability To Prescribe Buprenorphine: Limitations Of The Drug Addiction Treatment Act Of 2000. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 23(10), 542-545.

Rundio, A. (2012). Buprenorphine Prescribing by… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"NP's Not Able to Prescribe Opiate Addition Cessation Drugs."  September 26, 2014.  Accessed September 28, 2020.