For the first time, a medication to treat addiction to opioids, such
as prescription painkillers and heroin, can be prescribed by physicians in
their own offices.
Buprenorphine, an opioid partial agonist that blocks the craving for
opioids, received US Food and Drug Administration approval on October 8, 2002.
It is the first narcotic drug for the treatment of opioid dependence that
may be provided in a physician's office—as allowed under the Drug Addiction
Treatment Act (DATA) of 2000—rather than through special treatment facilities,
as is the case with methadone.
Mitka M. Agency Offers Guidance on Office-Based Drug Treatment for Opioid Addiction. JAMA. 2003;289(6):690. doi:10.1001/jama.289.6.690