Primary Care and the Opioid-Overdose Crisis — Buprenorphine Myths and Realities | NEJM

“In part, the overdose crisis is an epidemic of poor access to care. One of the tragic ironies is that with well-established medical treatment, opioid use disorder can have an excellent prognosis. Decades of research have demonstrated the efficacy of medications such as methadone and buprenorphine in improving remission rates and reducing both medical complications and the likelihood of overdose death.1 Unfortunately, treatment capacity is lacking: nearly 80% of Americans with opioid use disorder don’t receive treatment.2 Although access to office-based addiction treatment has increased since federal approval of buprenorphine, data from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reveal that annual growth in buprenorphine distribution has been slowing, rather than accelerating to meet demand (see graph). To have any hope of stemming the overdose tide, we have to make it easier to obtain buprenorphine than to get heroin and fentanyl.”

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1802741?query=featured_home

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