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J Addict Dis. 1994;13(3):33-45.

A preliminary investigation of outcome following gradual or rapid buprenorphine detoxification.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont, Burlington 05401, USA.


Eight opioid-dependent individuals were maintained on daily sublingual buprenorphine (8 mg) for 28 days and assigned randomly to one of two outpatient detoxification schedules under double-blind, double-dummy conditions. The two detoxification schedules were buprenorphine gradual (36 days; N = 3) or buprenorphine rapid (12 days; N = 5). Outcome variables were subject- and observer-ratings of opioid withdrawal, treatment retention and illicit-opioid use. Outcome measures were similar for the two groups during buprenorphine maintenance. Increases in subject-rated opioid withdrawal and illicit-opioid use, and a drop in treatment retention occurred during rapid detoxification. Stable subject-rated opioid withdrawal and treatment retention, and less illicit-opioid use occurred during gradual detoxification. These data suggest that gradual reduction in buprenorphine dose is likely to produce superior treatment outcomes than more rapid buprenorphine detoxification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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