14 June 2023

The WANP was honored to welcome Craig Tom, Supervisory Diversion Investigator with the Seattle Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), to answer some of the most frequently asked questions of naturopathic physicians in Washington. Mr. Tom provided a thorough presentation to an attentive crowd - both in-person and live-streamed.

Some of the topics covered included:

  • Effective this month, anyone applying for a new or renewed DEA registration will be required to attest to completion of 8 hours of training in opioid use disorder. This is simply a part of the new or renewed online application process. Naturopathic physicians can access FREE training through the Providers Clinical Support System (a project of the Opioid Response Network).
  • As our country moves out of the public health emergency caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, several of the COVID flexibilities communicated by the DEA are set to expire. This includes the flexibility that allowed practitioners to establish and provide care exclusively through virtual means. Mr. Tom advised that any relationships established exclusively through virtual means during the COVID pandemic are still within the flexibilities until November 11, 2023. After that date, the expectations is that patients who require controlled substances will need to be established in person and will require at least annual in person visits (as was the case prior to the COVID pandemic).
  • Mr. Tom clarified that the Controlled Substances Act requires any practitioners who are licensed to prescribe controlled substances in multiple states to obtain separate DEA registrations for every state in which they intend to or actively prescribe controlled substances.
  • Any practitioner who prescribes controlled substances should make it routine habit to monitor their own DEA registration and prescribing history, and all should be utilizing the Prescription Monitoring Program as well.

There was a lot more information shared during this event and we urge our DEA-registered doctors to utilize the DEA's Diversion Control Division website to learn more and stay on top of the latest from the DEA.

We thank Craig for making the trip out to meet with our doctors (and for the DEA coffee mugs!) and to all those who attended this event. We'll continue to work to bring information directly from the source to keep our doctors informed and competent in providing safe care.