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Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2013;25(3):323-30. doi: 10.1515/ijamh-2013-0069.

Buprenorphine in the treatment of non-suicidal self-injury: a case series and discussion of the literature.

Abstract

A global public health problem, non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is highly prevalent in both males and females, and tends to first occur in adolescence. NSSI is correlated with a history of childhood trauma, and with a variety of developmental and psychiatric disorders. NSSI is associated with increased risk of morbidity and premature death from suicide, accidents, and natural causes. Current treatment approaches are inadequate for a substantial number of people. Converging evidence for opioid system dysregulation in individuals with NSSI make this a promising area of investigation for more effective treatments. The pharmacological profile of buprenorphine, a potent μ-opioid partial agonist and κ-opioid antagonist, suggests that it may be beneficial. In this paper, we describe the successful treatment of severe NSSI with buprenorphine in six individuals, followed by discussion and further recommendations.

PMID:
23995832
DOI:
10.1515/ijamh-2013-0069
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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