Opioid overdose risk is high after medical treatment ends, study finds

Opioid overdose risk is high after medical treatment ends, study finds

Publication date: Dec 02, 2019

Credit: CC0 Public Domain People with opioid addiction face a high risk of overdose after ending treatment with the medication buprenorphine, even when treated for 18 months, a new study by researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons has found.

Among people who were treated with buprenorphine continuously for 6 to 18 months, about 5% needed medical treatment for an opioid overdose in the 6 months after ending buprenorphine treatment.

The study also found that the longer patients continued with treatment, the lower their risk of other types of adverse outcomes, suggesting that buprenorphine treatment may be most effective as a long-term therapy for those with opioid use disorder.

What the Study Means Previous studies have shown that the risk of dying from an opioid overdose drops by as much as 70% during buprenorphine treatment.

The study is titled “Acute care, prescription opioid use, and overdose following discontinuation of long-term buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder” and was published on December 2, 2019 in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

Concepts Keywords
Acute Care Addiction
Arraignment Opioid use disorder
Buprenorphine Buprenorphine
CC0 Ethers
Clinical Psychiatry Drug rehabilitation
Cohort Euphoriants
Emergency Room Morphinans
Fair Dealing Psychoactive drugs
Healthcare Drugs
Insurance Opioids
Mental Illness
Opioid Addiction
Opioid Overdose
Robin Williams
Social Support


Type Source Name
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
disease MESH relapse
disease MESH emergency
drug DRUGBANK Buprenorphine
disease MESH opioid addiction


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