Buprenorphine maintenance treatment of opioid dependence in primary care may expand treatment access. Buprenorphine is a partial mu-opioid agonist approved for treatment of opioid dependence (dependence on heroin, prescription opioid pain medication, or methadone), which can be prescribed in primary care by authorized physicians. The purpose of this study is to assess the effectiveness of buprenorphine maintenance treatment in a primary care setting. Outcome measures include illicit opioid use during treatment, addiction severity scores from the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), patient craving ratings on a 100mm visual analog scale (VAS), and patient retention in treatment.
This is a 6-month, prospective cohort study of adults aged 18-65 who are seeking buprenorphine maintenance treatment for opioid dependence. This study is observational, not experimental, and patients will be treated in a naturalistic condition according to their individual treatment needs. Clinic visits will occur weekly for the first 4 weeks (Induction and Stabilization Phases), and monthly for the remaining 20 weeks (Maintenance Phase), at which time up to a month of medication may be prescribed. Participation in ancillary psychosocial treatment is recommended but not required. Urine toxicology and craving ratings will be collected at each visit. Additionally, research visits will occur monthly to collect data assessing addiction severity, risk factors, general health, and psychiatric symptoms.