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Training Materials

How to Prescribe Controlled Substances to Patients During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Posted 7/24/2020 (updated 9/2/2021)

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has adopted policies that allow DEA-registered practitioners to prescribe controlled substances without having to interact in-person with their patients. This chart only addresses prescribing controlled substances and does not address administering or direct dispensing of controlled substances, including by by narcotic treatment programs (OTP) or hospitals.

This decision tree merely summarizes the policies for quick reference and does not provide a complete description of all requirements. Full
details are on DEA’s COVID-19 website (, and codified in relevant law and regulations.