SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

MSW DEA's Policies on LCSWs and Prescription Privileges

Discussion in 'Mental Health and Social Welfare' started by Lil Red PrePsy Student, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. Lil Red PrePsy Student

    Lil Red PrePsy Student

    Jan 15, 2017
    So I was researching prescription privileges and becoming a PsyD because of reasons that are important rn and I stumbled upon the DEA's definition of mid level practitioner as they pertain to the ability to prescribe meds. On that list is an LCSW and I thought um FURNT wrong, I am pretty sure LCSWs cannot do that. OR am I wrong? Is there something I am missing or is the DEA just being weird or something?
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2013
    4th Dimension
    The DEA allows midlevels to prescribe if their state allows them to do so. LCSWs can prescribe if a state gets foolish enough to grant then the privilege, but to date I don't think many have. tbph I wouldn't get too thrilled about the script pad with a PsyD either- they are pretty limited as to where they can prescribe and quite frankly there is so much that can go wrong I'd be wary of having the script pad myself as a non-physician or APRN. PsyDs just don't have the baseline general pharmacology, physiology, and pathophysiology knowledge to be safe prescribers of a great number of psychiatric medications.
    GroverPsychMD and MamaPhD like this.
  4. Lil Red PrePsy Student

    Lil Red PrePsy Student

    Jan 15, 2017
    I think its alright for a PsyD or a PhD to prescribe if they have done the requisite Psychopharmacology programs after a doctoral program and have worked under a licensed practitioner for a requisite amount of time. But yeah as far as an LCSW goes I think most only require 1-3 courses regarding psychopharmacology if you are lucky and its more pertaining to dependency counseling. So I have no idea what the DEA is thinking because this could bite a lot of people in the ass if LCSWs or dp DSWs decide to advocate for prescription authority.
  5. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center Psychologist 7+ Year Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    I doubt that. Besides, you can easily earn a doctorate in clinical psychology with ZERO formal courses in psychopharmacology. The APA requires only that you have coursework in the biological bases of behavior. In my case that meant taking neuroanatomy alongside pharmacology and neuroscience PhD students, not medical professionals in training.

    If you want to learn how to prescribe medications, and do it well, go to medical school.
    Salvador and GroverPsychMD like this.
  6. Lil Red PrePsy Student

    Lil Red PrePsy Student

    Jan 15, 2017
    That is alarming I did not know that at all thank you for letting me know that.
  7. aftermidnight

    aftermidnight 2+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2015
    There are no states that have prescription privileges for LCSW's although the issue has certainly come up in professional circles from time to time. For example, see the link below. Interestingly my understanding is that Sophia Dziegielewski, who is cited a social work scholar in favor of prescribing privileges has changed her opinion and no longer supports it.

    Social Work Practice and Psychopharmacology, Second Edition
  8. BlackSkirtTetra

    BlackSkirtTetra 5+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2011
    I work in a medical setting as a social worker in a state that does not require a license. I studied pharmacology, physiology, and psychopharmacology in graduate school but not near the level of an NP or PA (much less an MD/DO).

    Part of me wonders if allowing LCSWs prescription privileges wouldn't increase the licensing rate in areas like mine, where licensure is possible but never necessary (except for federal/VA jobs).
  9. counselor2b

    counselor2b 7+ Year Member

    Jun 2, 2010
    Licensure is important, as it sets a basic standard. However, I don't think going the route of prescription authority is the way to go. You would be better served lobbying to enforce SW licensure as the minimum criteria for entry into the profession. Allowing every mental health professional under the sun to prescribe medications is not the answer. There would need to be a massive overhaul to the education of SW's to the point where you might as well go to med school or become an NP or PA if you want to prescribe or discontinue medications safely.
    GroverPsychMD likes this.
  10. Shrink1982

    Shrink1982 2+ Year Member

    Jul 1, 2015
    There is no reason a psychologist should be able to rx and masters level therapists can't. Psychologists don't get any more training in pharmacology and physiology that we do. Just as psychologists have to take several classes to get basic training in prescribing, why should an LCSW, LPC etc. be able to do the same thing? I live in a large city and we have such a shortage of psych prescribers it would be nice if this was an option. Nurse practitioners rx and they only have a two years masters program. That is nothing compared to what a physician has to take in order to be licensed to rx.

Share This Page