Substance use and quality of life over 12 months among buprenorphine maintenance-treated and methadone maintenance-treated heroin-addicted patients

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2007 Jul;33(1):91-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2006.11.009. Epub 2007 Jan 16.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of methadone treatment and buprenorphine treatment on retention in treatment, urine drug testing results, psychiatric status, social adjustment, and quality of life among patients involved in long-term treatment with the cited medications. Two hundred thirteen patients (106 on buprenorphine treatment and 107 on methadone treatment) were enrolled in this open study at the 3rd month of their treatment and followed up until the 12th month; those who left the program before the end of the 3rd month of their treatment were not included in the study sample. The results of this study show statistically significant improvements in opioid use, psychiatric status, and quality of life between the 3rd and 12th months for both medications. This study suggests the long-term efficacy of methadone treatment and buprenorphine treatment on symptoms of opioid addiction and quality of life.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Buprenorphine / therapeutic use*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnosis, Dual (Psychiatry)
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heroin Dependence / epidemiology
  • Heroin Dependence / rehabilitation*
  • Heroin Dependence / urine
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / urine
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Methadone / therapeutic use*
  • Narcotics / therapeutic use*
  • Patient Dropouts / statistics & numerical data
  • Program Evaluation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Substance Abuse Detection / statistics & numerical data
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / urine


  • Illicit Drugs
  • Narcotics
  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone