Reminder: New DEA training requirement takes effect June 27

June 05, 2023

Physicians are reminded that effective June 27, 2023, prescribers applying for a new U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) registration or renewing their DEA registration must attest to having met the new training requirements for DEA-registered prescribers of controlled substances. 

A new law requires all prescribers of schedule II – V controlled substances to meet a one-time eight-hour training requirement on identifying, treating and managing patients with opioid or other substance use disorders. Many California-licensed physicians may have already met the new DEA requirements because California requires similar education. (Physicians will, with some exceptions, be able to simply check a box on their DEA registration application or renewal form confirming that they have satisfied this training requirement.)  

Physicians who have not yet met the training requirements can find applicable CME by searching the ACCME’s CME Passport. Physicians can search by keyword and specialty, and it will list all of the available CME courses in the country. (For example, the search results filtered by “substance use disorder” can be viewed here.) Physicians will need to assess the applicability of offered content. 

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provided recommendations to CME providers on what trainings can include to meet the DEA requirements, such as, “a basic overview of [substance use disorder] identification, management and evidence-based care, as well as pain management.” Notably, SAMHSA recommends, as an overarching concept, that content be related to the prevention, recognition and care of people with substance use disorders including those with concurrent pain and/or psychiatric and medical co-morbidities. These recommendations can help physicians assess the applicability of the CME offerings.

The American Medical Association (AMA) also offers a number of continuing medical education (CME) courses on the AMA Ed Hub™ related to substance use disorders and addiction that qualify as meeting the new DEA requirement.

Physicians who are board certified in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry are exempt from the DEA requirements, as are those who completed X-Waiver training. Prescribers who received similar training in medical school in the five years prior to June 27, 2023, are also exempt. For more information, see CMA's fact sheet.


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