Support for buprenorphine and methadone prescription to heroin-dependent patients among New York City physicians

Phillip O. Coffin, Shannon Blaney, Crystal Fuller, Liza Vadnai, Sarah Miller, David Vlahov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Methadone and buprenorphine are treatments for heroin-dependent patients. Methadone is available through highly-regulated treatment centers while buprenorphine was approved in 2002 for prescription by certified physicians. Just prior to the approval of buprenorphine, we conducted a random postal survey of 770 physicians in New York City to determine willingness to prescribe methadone or buprenorphine for heroin-dependent patients to be picked up at a pharmacy. Among 247 respondents, 36.3% would consider prescribing methadone and 17.9% were unsure, while 25.8% would consider prescribing buprenorphine and 31.8% were unsure. Willingness to prescribe methadone or buprenorphine was associated with more recent year of licensure (p = 0.044; p = 0.033), working in a hospital or clinic as opposed to an office setting (p = 0.009; p = 0.024), and being the director of a clinic or program (p = 0.031; p = 0.008). This preliminary study suggests that a substantial proportion of New York City physicians would prescribe methadone or buprenorphine to heroin-dependent patients.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1-6
    Number of pages6
    JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
    Volume32
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Feb 1 2006

    Keywords

    • Buprenorphine
    • Injection drug user
    • Methadone
    • Physicians
    • Prescription

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Clinical Psychology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health

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