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Painkiller abuse treated by sustained buprenorphine/naloxone
Date:11/8/2011

lers, especially in the offices of primary care doctors. To help address this issue, NIDA's Clinical Trials Network launched the Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment Study (POATS) in 2007, which took place at 10 treatment sites around the country.

"Despite the tremendous increase in the prevalence of addiction to prescription painkillers, little research has focused on this patient population," said Roger Weiss, M.D., of Harvard Medical School, Boston, and the lead author of the study. "This is the first large-scale study to examine treatments exclusively for people who were abusing prescription painkiller medications and were treated with buprenorphine-naloxone, which can be prescribed in a physician's office."

In the study, more than 600 treatment-seeking outpatients addicted to prescription opioids received Suboxone in combination with brief standard medical management, in which physicians evaluated treatment effectiveness and recommended abstinence and self-help participation. Half of the participants also received varying intensities of addiction counseling as provided by trained substance abuse or mental health professionals.

Results showed that approximately 49 percent of participants reduced prescription painkiller abuse during extended (at least 12-week) Suboxone treatment. This success rate dropped to 8.6 percent once Suboxone was discontinued. Reductions in prescription painkiller abuse were seen regardless of whether or not the patient reported suffering chronic pain, and participants who received intensive addiction counseling did not show better outcomes when compared to those who did not receive this additional counseling.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 1.9 million people in the United States meet abuse or dependence criteria for prescription pain relievers. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent
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Contact: NIDA Press Office
media@nida.nih.gov
301-443-6245
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
Source:Eurekalert

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