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.
- Value-Based Payment Opens Doors for Better Opioid Use Disorder Care
- Stigma as a fundamental hindrance to the United States opioid overdose crisis response.
- Challenges of Controlling Pain While Minimizing Risk of Opioid Use Disorder
- CBHW Summit: The Cycle of Drug-Related Stigma – Implications for the Opioid Crisis