Background: Buprenorphine/naloxone was approved by the FDA for office-based opioid maintenance therapy (OMT), with little long-term follow-up data from actual office-based practice. 18-Month outcome data on the office-based use of buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nx) and the impact of socioeconomic status and other patient characteristics on the duration and clinical effects of bup/nx are reported.
Methods: This retrospective chart review and cross-sectional telephone interview provide treatment retention of opioid-dependent patients receiving bup/nx-OMT in an office-based setting. 176 opioid-dependent patients from two different socioeconomic groups (high and low SES) were begun on bup/nx, started intensive outpatient treatment, and followed-up after a minimum of 18 months (18-42 months) by telephone interview to assess treatment outcome.
Results: 110 subjects (67%) completed the interview, 77% remained on bup/nx with no difference in retention between high and low SES groups. Those on bup/nx at follow-up were more likely to report abstinence, to be affiliated with 12-step recovery, to be employed and to have improved functional status.
Conclusions: Bup/nx-OMT is a viable treatment option and when coupled with a required abstinence oriented addiction counseling program is effective in promoting abstinence, self-help group attendance, occupational stability, and improved psychosocial outcomes in both low SES and high SES patient populations over an 18-42-month period.
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