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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2016 Dec;71:54-57. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2016.08.016. Epub 2016 Sep 2.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Improves Treatment Outcomes for Prescription Opioid Users in Primary Care Buprenorphine Treatment.

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Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


To determine whether treatment outcomes differed for prescription opioid and heroin use disorder patients, we conducted a secondary analysis of a 24-week (N=140) randomized trial of physician management (PM) or PM plus cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in primary care buprenorphine/naloxone treatment. Self-reported opioid use and urine toxicology analyses were obtained weekly. We examined baseline demographic differences between primary prescription opioid use patients (n=49) and primary heroin use patients (n=91) and evaluated whether treatment response differed by assigned condition. Compared to primary heroin use patients, primary prescription opioid use patients had marginally fewer years of opioid use, were less likely to have had a previous drug treatment or detoxification, and were less likely to report injection drug use. Although opioid abstinence only, and treatment retention did not differ by opioid use group, opioid category moderated the effect of CBT on urine samples negative for all drugs. Primary prescription opioid use patients assigned to PM-CBT had more than twice the mean number of weeks of abstinence for all drugs (7.6) than those assigned to PM only (3.6; p=.02), while primary heroin use patients did not differ by treatment. Findings suggest that examination of other factors that may predict response to behavioral interventions is warranted.


Buprenorphine; Cognitive behavioral therapy; Opioid-related disorders; Treatment outcome

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