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Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2012 Oct 29;7:22. doi: 10.1186/1940-0640-7-22.

Entry into primary care-based buprenorphine treatment is associated with identification and treatment of other chronic medical problems.

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Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.



Buprenorphine is an effective treatment for opioid dependence that can be provided in a primary care setting. Offering this treatment may also facilitate the identification and treatment of other chronic medical conditions.


We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 168 patients who presented to a primary care clinic for treatment of opioid dependence and who received a prescription for sublingual buprenorphine within a month of their initial visit.


Of the 168 new patients, 122 (73%) did not report having an established primary care provider at the time of the initial visit. One hundred and twenty-five patients (74%) reported at least one established chronic condition at the initial visit. Of the 215 established diagnoses documented on the initial visit, 146 (68%) were not being actively treated; treatment was initiated for 70 (48%) of these within one year. At least one new chronic medical condition was identified in 47 patients (28%) during the first four months of their care. Treatment was initiated for 39 of the 54 new diagnoses (72%) within the first year.


Offering treatment for opioid dependence with buprenorphine in a primary care practice is associated with the identification and treatment of other chronic medical conditions.

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