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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2002;28(2):231-41.

Treatment of heroin dependence with buprenorphine in primary care.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8025, USA.


Buprenorphine is an effective treatment for heroin dependence. The feasibility and potential efficacy of buprenorphine with brief counseling in primary care is unknown. We enrolled 14 heroin dependent patients in a 13-week clinical trial using thrice weekly buprenorphine along with brief counseling in the primary care center of an urban medical center. Primary outcomes included urine toxicology and treatment retention. Opioid-positive urine toxicology tests reduced over the 13-week period from 95 to 25% (p < 0.05). Eleven patients (79%) had greater than or equal to one week of opioid-free urine toxicologies. Nine patients (64%) had greater than or equal to three weeks of opioid-free urine toxicologies. Eleven patients (79%) were retained through the maintenance phase. We conclude that buprenorphine maintenance is feasible in a primary care setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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