New DEA Controlled Substance Training Requirement for Practitioners

Signed into law in December 2022 as part of the omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act requires all Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-registered practitioners, including physicians, dentists, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners, to complete a one-time, 8-hour training on the treatment and management of patients with opioid or other substance use disorders.   

View the 8-hour DEA MATE Act course.   

Addressing the opioid epidemic   

Data from the National Institutes of Health has shown a continual rise in overdose deaths among Americans since 2000. More than 106,000 drug overdose deaths were reported in 2021. Deaths involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl also continued to climb, with 70,601 overdose deaths reported in 2021.   

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), “These deaths represent a mere fraction of the total number of Americans harmed by substance misuse, and many people suffer daily from chronic use disorders. The rise in fentanyl use or exposure, concurrent substance misuse, as well as overdose deaths, necessitates consideration of educational elements that promote understanding of SUDs, as well as their identification, treatment, and management.”   

Controlled substance training and education  

To help address this deadly epidemic, the MATE Act ensures that all DEA-registered practitioners (except veterinarians) receive training on the treatment and management of patients with opioid or another substance use disorder.    

This includes the appropriate clinical use of all drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of a substance use disorder. Alternatively, the course may review the safe pharmacological management of dental pain. Training also covers the screening and referrals for treatment of patients at risk of developing a substance use disorder.   

Satisfying the new DEA MATE Act requirement   

Starting June 27, 2023, all practitioners must check a box on the online DEA registration form. This check affirms their successful completion of the 8-hour training requirements. This applies whether applicants are completing an initial registration or renewing their registration.   

The deadline is the date of each practitioner’s next scheduled DEA registration submission on or after June 27, 2023.   

Practitioners can meet the DEA requirement online with the new 8-hour DEA MATE Act course from Elite Learning, which focuses on the fundamentals of acute and chronic pain management. The course also provides a contextual framework for the safer prescribing of opioid analgesics.