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Medical News & Perspectives
August 13, 2003

In-Office Opiate Treatment "Not a Panacea"

JAMA. 2003;290(6):731-735. doi:10.1001/jama.290.6.731

A drug trumpeted as a major advance in opiate addiction treatment is garnering a tepid response from physicians, despite its status as the first such treatment available outside licensed drug treatment clinics. Bureaucratic hurdles, lack of clinical guidelines, and unfamiliarity with addiction have all hampered physician adoption of the drug, buprenorphine.

While less strictly regulated than methadone, buprenorphine can be prescribed only by physicians who complete an eight-hour course and register with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).