Who Treats Opioid Addiction in Rural America? Quantifying the Availability of Buprenorphine Services in Rural Areas

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2015
Project completed:
July 2017

This study will investigate the extent to which physicians who practice in rural areas and have a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) waiver to prescribe buprenorphine as an office-based outpatient treatment for opioid use disorder are providing this treatment to their patients. This study will also estimate the need for office-based opioid disorder treatment in rural locations.


  • Barriers Rural Physicians Face Prescribing Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder
    Journal Article
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2017
    Opioid use disorder is a serious public health problem. Management with buprenorphine is an effective medication-assisted treatment, but 60.1% of rural counties lack a physician with a Drug Enforcement Agency waiver to prescribe buprenorphine. This national study surveyed all rural physicians who have received a waiver in the United States.
  • Prescribing Practices of Rural Physicians Waivered to Prescribe Buprenorphine
    Journal Article
    WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2018
    This study finds more than 60% of rural counties don't have a physician waivered to prescribe buprenorphine, which is used to treat opioid use disorder.