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CME requirements for maintaining the ability to prescribe opioids in Alabama

Alabama remains at the top of the list for opioid prescriptions per 100 residents. To inform prescribers about issues involved in prescribing controlled substances, the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners & Medical License Commission of Alabama added an ongoing CME requirement to its initial certificate requirement. All Alabama Controlled Substances Certificate holders are now required to obtain two (2) AMA PRA Category 1 (TM) credits or equivalent every two years in the areas of:
  • Controlled substance prescribing practices,
  • Recognizing signs of the abuse or misuse of controlled substances, or
  • Controlled substance prescribing for chronic pain management.

Neither MASA nor ABLME have specific documentation or review requirements to determine that an activity meets this requirement. They only require that it can be categorized in one of the 3 areas noted above and suggest that the name be descriptive and refer to one of those three areas.

The DEA has also introduced a new one-time requirement for eight hours of training on treatment and management of patients with opioid or other substance use disorders (SUDs). This requirement will go into effect on June 27, 2023. Note that this requirement refers to SUDs of all types, and not just opioid use disorder. All DEA-registered practitioners must meet this requirement and beginning June 27, will be required to affirm that they have completed the new training requirement. Click here for additional information on this requirement and for the official DEA letter describing it. 

The UAB Division of Continuing Medical Education is happy to provide review services to ensure that any education that you intend to offer fits these requirements.
Here are some additional sources for obtaining the required CME credit:

Additional Resources
Alabama Board of Medical Examiners FAQ on prescribing controlled substances
VA Guideline for the use of opioids in pain (2022)
CDC Guideline for the use of opioids in pain (2022)
Primary Care Management of Long-Term opioid Therapy (2022)
Chronic pain: an update on burden, best practices, and new advances (2021)