According to a University of Washington research, only 40% of rural counties nationally had at least one licensed physician who could prescribe buprenorphine in 2016. The analysis discovered that by 2020, that number had increased to 63%. The increase was attributed by the study to modifications in federal regulations that permit NPs, PAs, and other healthcare professionals to prescribe buprenorphine. Only doctors could perform this in the past, and many remote counties lacked any. In 2002, Suboxone received approval from federal regulators, providing a new option for addiction treatment in communities without methadone facilities. Marshalltown, a town of 27,000 people encircled by rural areas, offers a feasible alternative, according to Andrea Storjohann, NP.