Initiating buprenorphine treatment during short‐term inpatient ‘detoxification’

A new study on initiation of buprenorphine maintenance was just published. The press release describes the intervention as an alternative to “revolving door” detox and relapse cycles: “patients who start long-term buprenorphine treatment at a detox program, instead of going through detox and getting a referral for such treatment at discharge, are less likely to … Continue reading Initiating buprenorphine treatment during short‐term inpatient ‘detoxification’

Low barrier buprenorphine treatment for persons experiencing homelessness and injecting heroin

There was a lot of enthusiasm about this study on twitter recently. It appears to be based on this program highlighted in the NY Times last year. . . . city health workers are taking to the streets to find homeless people with opioid use disorder and offering them buprenorphine prescriptions on the spot. The … Continue reading Low barrier buprenorphine treatment for persons experiencing homelessness and injecting heroin

Study of Long-acting buprenorphine published–17% respond

A new JAMA study concludes, “Long-acting buprenorphine depot formulations appear to be efficacious for treatment of opioid use disorder.” Keep reading. They compared the effectiveness of sublingual (oral) and long-acting injections of buprenorphine to see if the long-acting injections are as effective as the sublingual version. The study was 24 weeks. That’s better than we … Continue reading Study of Long-acting buprenorphine published–17% respond

Another buprenorphine retention finding

There has been a lot of discussion about the use of buprenorphine to treat addiction and prevent overdose. I’ve pointed out that weak retention rates weaken this rationale. One common response is that the treatment system and recovering community reinforce stigma associated with maintenance medications and undermine outcomes, including retention. This makes retention findings from other … Continue reading Another buprenorphine retention finding

Buprenorphine: Being out of treatment increases risk of death nearly 30-fold

The title of this post is taken directly from a press release for a recently published study. Here’s the summary: Buprenorphine reduces mortality for those with opioid use disorder, but periods off treatment are associated with much higher mortality rates. A study of 713 new outpatient users of buprenorphine was conducted in France, where patients … Continue reading Buprenorphine: Being out of treatment increases risk of death nearly 30-fold

New buprenorphine study – more disappointing outcomes

So . . . congress recently passed $1,000,000,000 to address the opioid crisis. Much of that money is expected to be spent on medication assisted treatment. Buprenorphine has been the most frequently touted form of medication assisted treatment. I’ve reviewed the research here and found that it does not live up to the hype. A … Continue reading New buprenorphine study – more disappointing outcomes

What’s with all of the posts about methadone and buprenorphine?

I’ve been doing a lot of posts on methadone and buprenorphine lately. It’s not that I think they are evil and should be banned. It’s just that, if your knowledge was limited to what’s in media reports, you’d believe that medications like buprenorphine and methadone are the only responsible treatment, that they are inaccessible, and that any … Continue reading What’s with all of the posts about methadone and buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine Outpatient Outcomes Project

I recently came across this 2014 study of 220 buprenorphine patients. I mentioned it in another post and noted this sentence from the conclusion as underwhelming, “The number of legal charges for drug possession decreased from 70 to 62.” Turns out that this sentence casts their outcomes in a misleadingly positive light. In the year … Continue reading Buprenorphine Outpatient Outcomes Project

Another buprenorphine study with poor outcomes for young patients

  A recent study looks at buprenorphine retention and frames young adult retention as a problem. Emerging adults (18-25 years old) are often poorly retained in substance use disorder treatment. Office-based buprenorphine often enhances treatment retention among people with opioid dependence. In this study, we examined the records of a collaborative care buprenorphine treatment program … Continue reading Another buprenorphine study with poor outcomes for young patients