Buprenorphine treatment in an urban community health center: Wat to expect

Chinazo Cunningham, Angela Giovanniello, Galit Sacajiu, Susan Whitley, Pamela Mund, Robert Beil, Nancy Sohler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Background: Despite new opportunities to expand buprenorphine treatment for opioid dependence, use of this treatment modality has been limited. Physicians may question their ability to successfully treat opioid-dependent patients with buprenorphine in a primary care setting. We describe a buprenorphine treatment program and treatment outcomes in an urban community health center. Methods: We conducted retrospective chart reviews on the first 41 opioid-dependent patients treated with buprenorphine/naloxone. The primary outcome was 90-day retention in treatment. Results: Patients' mean age was 46 years, 70.7% were male, 58.8% Hispanic, 31.7% black, 57.5% unemployed, and 70.0% used heroin prior to treatment. Twenty-nine (70.7%) patients were retained in treatment at day 90. Compared to those not retained, patients retained in treatment were more likely to have used street methadone (0% versus 37.9%) and less likely to have used opioid analgesics (54.6% versus 20.7%) and alcohol (50.0% versus 13.8%) prior to treatment. Of the 25 patients with urine toxicology tests, 24% tested positive for opioids. Conclusions: Buprenorphine treatment for opioid dependence in an urban community health center resulted in a 90-day retention rate of 70.7%. Type of substance use prior to treatment appeared to be associated with retention. These findings can help guide program development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)500-506
Number of pages7
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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