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Suboxone is most effective in treating painkiller addiction
Date:11/7/2011

BELMONT, MAIndividuals addicted to prescription painkillers are more likely to succeed in treatment with the aid of the medication buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone), report McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School researchers in today's online edition of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

"Adjunctive Counseling During Brief and Extended Buprenorphine-Naloxone Treatment for Prescription Opioid Dependence," is the first large-scale study to address treatment of prescription opioid addiction. According to lead author Roger Weiss, MD, Chief of the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse at McLean Hospital, most studies examining treatments for opioid dependence have been done with heroin-dependent patients at methadone clinics, resulting in the lack of data on treatment for patients addicted to prescription painkillers, especially in the offices of primary care doctors.

"Despite the tremendous increase in the prevalence of addiction to prescription painkillers, little research has focused on this patient population," said Weiss, a professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. "This is notable because recent data tell us that the use of prescription painkillers for non-medical reasons is 20 times more common than heroin and 50 percent more people seek treatment for prescription drug abuse than for heroin."

Part of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network, this is the first randomized large scale clinical trial for the treatment of prescription opioid abuse, involving 10 sites nationwide and more than 600 treatment-seeking outpatients dependent on prescription opioids and either taking more than prescribed or using them illicitly. Each participant received Suboxonea combination of buprenorphine, which alleviates opioid withdrawal and craving, and naloxone, which prevents abuse if the drug is not taken orally as prescribedin conjunction with Standard Medical Management, in which physicians evaluated tre
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Contact: Adriana Bobinchock
abobinchock@partners.org
617-855-2110
McLean Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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