Researchers develop high-tech buprenorphine dispenser to treat patients waitlisted for addiction treatment

Dispensation of single-day doses of the anti-addiction drug buprenorphine can reduce illicit opioid use among patients waiting to see a physician certified in addiction treatment, according to a study presented at the 2017 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology meeting in Palm Desert, Calf., from Dec. 3-7.

As the opioid crisis intensifies, the number of individuals seeking treatment for opioid addiction is exceeding treatment capacity at healthcare facilities across the nation, leaving many patients waitlisted for months or years.

To address this issue, a researchers from the University of Vermont's College of Medicine in Burlington developed an intervention in the form of a secure computerized dispenser that distributes a single-day dose of buprenorphine to opioid-dependent patients on waitlists for treatment. The team assessed the efficacy of the intervention over the span of 12 weeks. Patients who utilized the intervention were less likely to illicitly use opioids, as evidenced by urine testing.

The intervention will soon be a part of a larger trial centered in underserved communities with limited access to treatment services.

More articles on opioids: 
Illinois physician traded opioids for cash and sex with patients: 3 things to know 
Viewpoint: Pharma should fund opioid takeback efforts 
Montana files opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharma

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