Thousands of nurse practitioners are in Indianapolis this week for an annual conference, and some will receive training to help treat people with opioid addiction.
The SUPPORT act, signed into federal law last year, extended authorization for nurse practitioners to prescribe medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, for opioid addiction.
Joyce Knestrick is president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She says nurse practitioners at the conference can receive training on MAT treatment, as well as other prescribing methods.
"When and where to treat chronic pain, alternative medicines for chronic pain treatment to help prevent opioid addiction," says Knestrick.
Knestrick says some states, including Indiana, still require NPs to have a physician agreement to be able to prescribe.
"So it really makes it complicated and really limits access to care. We want to remove those barriers to allow nurse practitioners, regardless of where they live, to be able to help fight this epidemic," says Knestrick.
They also need to apply for a waiver and complete training to prescribe MAT.
More than 300 NPs in Indiana have taken these steps.