Abuse of opioids has become a public health crisis. The historic separation between the addiction and pain communities and a lack of training in medical education have made treatment difficult to provide, especially in primary care. The Co-occurring Disorders Clinic (COD) was established to treat patients with co-morbid chronic pain and addiction. This retrospective chart review reports results of a quality improvement project using buprenorphine/naloxone to treat co-occurring chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) and opioid dependence in a primary care setting. Data were collected for 143 patients who were induced with buprenorphine/naloxone (BUP/NLX) between June 2009 and November 2011. Ninety-three patients (65%) continued to be maintained on the medication and seven completed treatment and were no longer taking any opioid (5%). Pain scores showed a modest, but statistically significant improvement on BUP/NLX, which was contrary to our expectations and may be an important factor in treatment retention for this challenging population.
Published by Elsevier Inc.