This report describes the features of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) access to Mobile Narcotic Treatment Programs.
On June 28, 2021, the DEA announced its lifting of the 14-year moratorium on methadone-dispensing vans operated by narcotic treatment programs (NTPs). This rule change will have a significant impact on the nation’s 2,700 DEA-registered and future methadone service providers. DEA will no longer require providers to obtain a separate registration to operate a mobile component and distribute controlled substances. Removing the dual-registration requirement will make it easier to supply treatment services to rural and underserved areas. DEA regulations apply to mobile NTPs. A mobile NTP must provide detoxification treatment with narcotic drugs in Schedules II-V at locations remote from and within the same state as the registered NTP. They must operate under the registration of the NTP; and a mobile NTP must be a motor vehicle (van, truck, or RV) with more than three wheels in contact with the ground.