On March 16, 2020 the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provided additional guidance to Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) in recognition of the evolving issues surrounding COVID-19 and the emerging needs facing OTPs. The increased flexibility allowed for the State Opioid Treatment Authority (DDAP) to request blanket exceptions regarding take-home medications on behalf of OTPs within the State.
SAMHSA will allow take-home doses of up to 28 days for patients who are stable and up to 14 days for patients who are less stable but whom the OTP believes can safely handle that level of take-home medication. The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) has submitted the required information to SAMHSA to request a blanket exception. OTPs must follow the protocols they have developed to implement the extended take-home procedures.
Pursuant to authorization from the Governor in accordance with the Disaster Emergency proclamation, and consistent with the SAMHSA guidance, DDAP is suspending the regulation at 28 Pa. Code §715.16(e), which prohibits Narcotic Treatment Programs (NTPs) from allowing a patient to receive more than a two-week take-home supply of medication, for the duration of the disaster emergency.