As of Feb. 14, 2018, prescribing opioid agonist treatment (OAT) for opioid use disorder is within the scope of nurse practitioners (NPs).
The standards, limits and conditions for OAT set out the requirements for both induction and continuation/maintenance prescribing of opioid agonist treatment for opioid use disorder. These standards, limits and conditions do not apply to prescribing opioid agonists for pain and other symptoms.
a.substance use disorders including opioid use disorder, b. treatment strategies for opioid use disorder (e.g. opioid agonist treatment, psychosocial treatment interventions), and
c. harm reduction strategies for opioid use disorder.
a. make or confirm a diagnosis of opioid use disorder using the DSM-5TM diagnostic criteria,
b. review the client’s medication profile and history through PharmaNet and other sources,
c. assess for other substance use disorders and/or concurrent use of substances (e.g. alcohol, benzodiazepines, other sedative-hypnotics), and d. develop a treatment plan that takes into account any risks identified during the client’s assessment.
a. additional education offered by the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use2, and b. a preceptorship that meets the requirements established by the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use.
Online education and preceptorship information as well as
clinical care guidance for OAT can be found on the
BCCSU website. Please
contact them if you have questions about the education and preceptorship requirements for OAT prescribers.
Opioid agonist drugs used for the treatment of opioid use disorder are controlled drugs under the
Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
Note: methadone maintenance pads that are initially available will have College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC ID numbers on them.
Note that when you place your first order, a prescription review will be initiated, which may take a few weeks. It will then take an additional two to three weeks for the printer to process the order and send out the pads. You may order up to three pads at a time.
Methadone for analgesia remains out of scope for nurse practitioners.
Ministry of Health requirements for preprinted pads (Both CDS and Methadone):
Prescription pads will be delivered by Xpresspost. The ordering NP must sign for them.
At the time of delivery:
Canada Post will attempt delivery twice. If delivery is unsuccessful, the order will be forwarded to CRNBC. CRNBC will then contact the NP to organize delivery.