Indicators of buprenorphine and methadone use and abuse: what do we know?

Am J Addict. 2010 Jan-Feb;19(1):73-88. doi: 10.1111/j.1521-0391.2009.00008.x.


Abuse of prescription opioids is a growing problem. The number of methadone pain pills distributed now exceeds liquid methadone used in opioid treatment, and the increases in buprenorphine indicators provide evidence of the need to monitor and intervene to decrease the abuse of this drug. The need for additional and improved data to track trends is discussed, along with findings as to the characteristics of the users and combinations of drugs. Data on toxicities related to methadone or buprenorphine, particularly in combination with other prescribed drugs, are presented and clinical implications and considerations are offered. These findings underscore the need for physicians to be aware of potential toxicities and to educate their patients regarding these issues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Buprenorphine / administration & dosage
  • Buprenorphine / adverse effects*
  • Dosage Forms
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / adverse effects
  • Health Care Surveys / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / adverse effects
  • Methadone / administration & dosage
  • Methadone / adverse effects*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / mortality
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*


  • Dosage Forms
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone