The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) decided several years ago that buprenorphine for opioid use disorder (OUD) can be prescribed by a medical provider via telehealth. This decision has saved countless lives by opening up more treatment options for people with OUD. But starting a search for an addiction specialist that offers video visits can feel a bit overwhelming. Here’s some guidance on how to find a trusted provider that offers high-quality OUD treatment online.
What does it mean when a doctor offers MOUD treatment?
MOUD stands for medication for opioid use disorder, and MOUD—combined with counseling or therapy—is one of the most successful ways to treat patients who are addicted to opioids and want to stop using.
The drug of choice for MOUD treatment is buprenorphine, which is usually prescribed in the form of Suboxone (a combo drug of buprenorphine and naloxone). Suboxone can treat withdrawal symptoms and cravings and prevent relapses, overdoses, and deaths from opioid use.
Methadone is another drug used in MOUD treatment, but has become less popular. One major advantage that Suboxone has over methadone is that you can obtain Suboxone from your neighborhood pharmacy and take Suboxone in your own home like any other prescription medication.
What is tele-MOUD?
On March 31, 2020, QuickMD became the first tele-MOUD service in the United States. Tele-MOUD means receiving treatment using Suboxone through an online visit with a medical provider.
Tele-MOUD offers many benefits over traditional in-person MOUD treatment, like the ease and convenience of having a video chat with your provider from anywhere.
Is it safe and legal to begin MOUD treatment online?
Yes. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced that medical providers can prescribe Suboxone to patients via telemedicine without the need for an in-person visit. While this rule is continually reviewed by the DEA, this guidance still stands.
Can I trust online doctors?
Patients with opioid use disorder are a vulnerable population, and there are some unethical addiction services out there (including online and in-person clinics) ready to take advantage of those with OUD. So, you do have to be careful when choosing an addiction treatment service.
One way to ensure your MOUD treatment provider is legitimate is to verify they are authorized to treat opioid use disorder with Suboxone. All QuickMD providers are licensed in the states they practice in and are registered with the DEA to treat OUD and write Suboxone prescriptions.
You can also check if the company has been verified by a reputable certification service, like LegitScript. This certificate is only given to addiction centers that have been independently verified.
Ready to start online treatment with Suboxone?
If you or someone you care about is struggling with opioid addiction, don’t wait to reach out for help. And if you’re ready to start treatment with Suboxone or would like to continue Suboxone treatment through telemedicine, talk with a QuickMD provider—we’re here for you 7 days a week.