Buprenorphine 101: The Basics of Initiating and Managing Opioid Use Disorder Treatment with Medication

September 29, 2021


This course will provide a brief introduction to the use of buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid use disorder. It will cover the basics needed to be able to effectively identify when buprenorphine treatment is appropriate, to initiate, monitor and maintain treatment for up to the initial 30 patient x-waiver limit. It will also instruct you how to complete your Notice of Intent (NOI) to prescribe buprenorphine and receive your x-waiver.

Target Audience

This activity is intended for: Prescribers (physicians, NPs, and PAs from primary care, emergency medicine, hospitalists service, OB/GYN and others) interested in using buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity participants should be able to:

  • Review recent practice guideline changes enabling providers to obtain an x-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine without previously required training;
  • Describe why treating opioid use disorder is an important, feasible, and satisfying clinical skill for all providers to easily master;
  • Detail how to diagnose and treat opioid use disorder with buprenorphine in usual clinical practice;
  • Dispel common myths about buprenorphine prescribing and review practical tips for getting started.

Additional Information

Provided by: 

Mass General Brigham Quality and Patient Experience’s Substance  Use Disorders Initiative

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.50 Nursing Contact Hours
  • 1.25 Participation
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
09/29/2021 - 12:00pm EDT
Event ends: 
09/29/2021 - 1:15pm EDT
12:00pmOpioid Addiction – A Public Health CrisisSarah E. Wakeman, MD, FASAM
12:05The Case for BuprenorphineSarah E. Wakeman, MD, FASAM
12:15Dispelling the Myths Around Treating Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)Claudia P. Rodriguez, MD
12:25Opportunities for and Access to OUD TreatmentSarah E. Wakeman, MD, FASAM

Treating OUD with Buprenorphine:

  • Screening
  • Diagnosis
  • Initiating treatment
  • Treatment maintenance
Sarah E. Wakeman, MD, FASAM
12:50Applying for the Prescribing X-WaiverSarah E. Wakeman, MD, FASAM
1:00Questions and AnswersSarah E. Wakeman, MD, FASAM & Claudia P. Rodriguez, MD


Mass General Brigham
United States

Sarah E. Wakeman, MD, FASAM - Course Director

Dr. Wakeman is an addiction medicine specialist at Mass General and a national thought leader in treatment for substance use disorders. As the medical director for the hospital's Substance Use Disorders Initiative, she is committed to changing how addiction is understood by the public and how it is treated at Mass General.

In addition to serving as the medical director of the Substance Use Disorders Initiative at Mass General, Dr. Wakeman leads the Addiction Consult Team, co-chairs the Opioid Task Force and is the medical director for Substance Use Disorder for Mass General Brigham’s Quality and Patient Experience area. She is also an associate professor in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Wakeman’s clinical interest and expertise is in the care of patients with addiction within general medical settings. Clinically, she provides primary care and office-based addiction care, as well as inpatient specialty consultation for addiction. She teaches locally, regionally and nationally about addiction and has led workshops and delivered symposia at national conferences. She was appointed by Governor Charlie Baker to serve on his opioid addiction working group and previously served as secretary for the Massachusetts Society of Addiction Medicine and chair of the group’s policy committee.

She also conducts research devoted to evaluating the implementation of substance use disorder care in general medical settings, opioid use disorder treatment effectiveness, and physician preparedness and attitudes related to addiction.


Claudia Rodriguez, MD

Dr. Rodriguez is the medical director of addiction services and is the chair of the Brigham Comprehensive Opioid Response and Education Committee (BCORE) services at the Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital (BWFH). Dr. Rodriguez is a clinical leader in expanding addiction treatment across clinical service levels within the hospital. She is a sought out educator, and has presented at local, regional, and national levels, with a goal in enhancing  knowledge of SUD treatment and challenging stigma against addiction.

Mass General Brigham is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Mass General Brigham designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This program meets the requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing at 244 CMR 5.00 for 1.5 contact hours.

Available Credit

  • 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.50 Nursing Contact Hours
  • 1.25 Participation


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