More than two in five people receiving buprenorphine, a drug commonly used to treat opioid addiction, are also given prescriptions for other opioid painkillers - and two-thirds are prescribed opioids after their treatment is complete, a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study suggests.
The findings, published in the journal Addiction, demonstrate the need for greater resources devoted to medication-assisted treatment, a common clinical tool to address the epidemic.
The idea behind medication-assisted treatment is that patients are given low-dose opioids that produce some of the effects of opioids while staving off physical withdrawal symptoms.
The low-dose opioids produce weaker effects than drugs such as oxycodone or heroin, which come with the risk of addiction and overdose. With medication-assisted treatment, rigorous studies have shown that patients are more able to remain healthy and productive members of society.
An article in Medical News Today brought the stuidy to light in...