Wall Street Journal: Obama Administration Loosens Controls on Medication to Ease Opioid Cravings

wall-street-journal-logo-940x350In an effort to expand treatment for opioid addiction, the Obama administration is loosening strict controls of a medication doctors prescribe to ease cravings for heroin and other opioid drugs.

The Department of Health and Human Services says it will now allow doctors to prescribe the medication, called buprenorphine, to 275 patients at a time, up from 100 previously.

The limits were put in place to try to keep tight control of the medication, which addicts sometimes buy and sell on the black market because it prevents painful withdrawal symptoms from heroin and other drugs. Federal officials believed that keeping a tight lid on prescribing would thwart this black-market trade.

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