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NPs will soon be authorized to prescribe diacetylmorphine and methadone

As of May 20, 2018, NPs will be authorized to prescribe diacetylmorphine (heroin) and methadone under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). 

Currently under federal law, NPs are only authorized to prescribe or administer methadone if they have an exemption under Section 56 of the CDSA. NPs are also not authorized to prescribe or conduct other activities with diacetylmorphine. 

Responding to the national opioid crisis, the Government of Canada is changing the law to increase health care access for Canadians needing treatment for substance use disorder. For example, new laws will allow NPs to prescribe and administer methadone without an exemption. Also, Diacetylmorphine will no longer be excluded from the list of controlled substances NPs can prescribe. Details of the changes can be found in the Canada Gazette, Part II published on March 21, 2018. 

We are reviewing these future changes to determine if there are any limitations to accessing these medications. We will share this information with you on cno.org and in The Standard, once we have more clarification. 

Page last reviewed April 12, 2018