New Mentoring Program for Healthcare Providers: Methadone for Chronic Pain, Opioid Addiction

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The American Nurses Association (ANA) would like to inform you that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is launching a new national mentoring program to assist health care providers in the appropriate use of methadone for the treatment of chronic pain and opioid addiction.

SAMHSA is responsible for certifying over 1,000 Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) which use methadone and buprenorphine in the treatment of opioid addiction. In 2004, there were 3,849 deaths from methadone poisoning, an increase of 390 percent in only five years. The death rate has continued to increase in many states.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) will administer the national mentoring network. It will offer clinical updates, evidence-based outcomes and training – free of charge -- to “physicians and other medical professionals.” ASAM currently operates a similar support network (a “Physician Clinical Support System” project) for the office-based treatment of opioid dependence with buprenorphine.

For more information, see 73 Fed. Reg. 16,026 (Mar. 26, 2008), or contact Shelly Hara of SAMHSA, at (240) 276-2321 or