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Feds Extend Telemedicine Prescribing Flexibilities Through 2024 - 11/10/2023

With permanent telehealth prescribing policies still under consideration, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) again has extended temporary pandemic-era telehealth flexibilities to allow physicians to virtually prescribe certain controlled medications, now through Dec. 31, 2024.

CDC Grant Funds Drug Overdose Data Collection in Texas - 10/30/2023

A nearly $4 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could give Texas physicians new tools to handle national opioid and mental health crises, which have made it difficult to identify patients at risk for substance use disorders.

Physicians’ DEA Registration Now Requires Training on Substance Use Disorder - 10/23/2023

Physicians who must register or renew their registration for a Drug Enforcement Administration license will face a new requirement as of June 27: To register, they will have attest to taking a one-time, eight-hour training on how to treat patients with opioid or other substance use disorders.

Help Promote National Drug Prescription Take Back Day on Oct. 28 - 10/19/2023

Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which allows people to dispose of prescription drugs safely and anonymously, is scheduled for Oct. 26 at locations throughout the state.

Physicians Warn: New Drug Overdose Threat Contains Veterinary Tranquilizer Xylazine - 09/18/2023

Xylazine, a tranquilizer used in veterinary medicine, is appearing in illicit street drugs with fentanyl, compounding the dangers of the opioid overdose epidemic. Xylazine, also called “tranq” according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, is used to tranquilize animals. It is not approved for human use and has killed people who have taken the drug.

Physicians Alarmed by Sharp Spike in Accidental Overdose Deaths Fueled by Illegal Drugs - 09/18/2023

A surge in accidental opioid overdose deaths in Texas is showing no signs of slowing down, and Texas physicians warn the rise in illegally produced drugs laced with fentanyl are to blame. They also say increasing the availability of life-saving, overdose-reversing drugs like naloxone, as well as addiction treatment programs, can help.

Physicians Urge Texans to Safely Return Unused Prescription Medication - 09/18/2023

Texas physicians recommend people with unused or expired prescription drugs at home dispose of them safely this weekend, so they are not accidently consumed. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is organizing its biannual prescription drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 29. Prescription drugs can be returned anonymously at pop up locations across the state.

Opioids: Resources for Prescribing and Addiction Treatment - 07/20/2023

Get access to information about medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Online resources for prescribing opioids appropriately also are available.

Physicians Will Lead Legislature’s Controlled Substances Committee - 07/17/2023

When a special joint committee of the Texas Legislature tackles issues with controlled substances this year, physician-lawmakers will take the lead.

Welcome MAT: Physicians Debunk Skepticism of Medication-Assisted Treatment - 06/05/2023

Many physicians have concerns about medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders. But a better understanding of MAT – combined with recent changes in federal law about prescribing these medications and required physician education on the subject – will allow a much broader group of doctors to help tackle the opioid crisis.

DEA Extends Telemedicine Flexibilities for Prescription of Controlled Medications - 05/12/2023

To avoid lapses in patient care now that the COVID-19 public health emergency has ended, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration issued a temporary extension of telemedicine flexibilities for the prescribing of controlled medications originally adopted in March 2020.

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioids, Alcohol, Tobacco: What You Should Know - 04/19/2023

Concern about opioids – especially the growing threat of overdose posed by illicit fentanyl – has created heightened awareness about treatment options for people with substance use disorders. One of the oldest and most effective is medication-assisted treatment.

UPDATE: Feds Declare Xylazine an Emerging National Threat in Opioid Crisis - 04/14/2023

Physicians’ ability to diagnose and treat opioid-related overdoses may be complicated by the discovery of the animal tranquilizer xylazine mixed in illicit fentanyl-laced drugs, the Texas Department of State Health Services warned in a recent health advisory.

Opioid Crisis: Illegally Manufactured Fentanyl Facts and Resources - 04/06/2023

Use these resources to get the facts and learn more about how illegally manufactured fentanyl is impacting public health.

Abbott Signals Support for Opioid Crisis Interventions: Federal Efforts Also Are Underway - 04/05/2023

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in February listed the fentanyl crisis as one of seven “emergency” items this session, clearing a path toward passage of Texas Medical Association-backed legislation that aims to curb opioid-related deaths.

FDA Approves Naloxone Nasal Spray for Over-the-Counter Sale - 04/03/2023

The Food and Drug Administration has approved over-the-counter sales of the opioid-reversing medication Narcan nasal spray – a move Texas physicians have long championed.

DEA Permanently Lists Opioid Brorphine as a Schedule I Controlled Substance - 03/24/2023

The Drug Enforcement Administration recently listed the synthetic opioid brorphine as a Schedule I controlled substance, putting in in the same league as other potentially dangerous drugs that have no accepted medical use, like heroin and LSD.

DEA Proposed Rules Address Telehealth Prescribing Post PHE - 03/08/2023

Physicians found new flexibility in prescribing controlled substances via telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the public health emergency is ending, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has proposed new rules for prescribers it says could preserve some of those flexibilities “with appropriate safeguards.”

FDA Panels Recommend Making Naloxone Spray Available Over the Counter - 02/28/2023

Two panels of medical experts have unanimously recommended to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that Narcan (naloxone) nasal spray, which can reverse an opioid overdose, be made available over the counter – a move Texas physicians have long championed.

Abbott Signals Support for Opioid Crisis Interventions - 02/21/2023

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently listed the fentanyl crisis as one of seven “emergency” items this session, clearing a path toward passage of Texas Medical Association-backed legislation that aims to curb opioid-related deaths.

Congress Eliminates Barrier to Opioid Use Disorder Drug Buprenorphine - 02/15/2023

The U.S. government recently ended a major restriction on prescribing buprenorphine, one of the most effective medications for treating opioid use disorder.

Counterfeit Medications Proliferate in Patient Care – and They’re Not Just Illicit Opioids - 01/31/2023

Counterfeit medications are a growing problem that can undermine medical treatment, and all physicians can help prevent their spread by asking patients simple questions.

TMB Rewrites Rule to Improve Chronic Pain Care for Texas Patients - 01/19/2023

The Texas Medical Board recently revised one of its rules in a way that makes it easier for physician practices to provide more comprehensive pain management.

Texas Physicians Warn: Don’t Let Accidental Overdose Ruin Your Holidays (and Your Life) - 12/13/2022

The holidays are a time of joy and celebration for many, but they could turn tragic if someone takes one pill they should not. Substance misuse – especially unwittingly taking street drugs that contain fentanyl – can destroy a life. A very small amount of illegally manufactured fentanyl (IMF) can be deadly.

CDC Revises Opioid Guidelines in the Wake of Confusion, Overreaction - 11/29/2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued revised guidelines to help safely prescribe opioids, and one of the reasons, the agency freely admits, is to clear up confusion caused by its last set of guidelines issued in 2016.