What are the benefits of buprenorphine medication for opioid dependence?

Howard J. Shaffer, PhD
Addiction Medicine
Buprenorphine offers certain advantages over methadone (the best-known and most frequently used medication for treating opioid dependence): it is safer and its withdrawal symptoms are briefer. More importantly, it offers an alternative for people who are concerned about keeping their recovery treatment private. Unlike people on methadone, people on buprenorphine need not attend a clinic to use the drug. Doctors in private practice can prescribe buprenorphine if they have the appropriate licensing and they also refer patients for drug counseling. Some doctors propose that buprenorphine is most appropriate for people who are extremely motivated to abstain or who have mild dependence.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.