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Medical News & Perspectives
February 12, 2003

Agency Offers Guidance on Office-Based Drug Treatment for Opioid Addiction

JAMA. 2003;289(6):690. doi:10.1001/jama.289.6.690

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.