The National Alliance of Advocates
for Buprenorphine Treatment

Buprenorphine (Suboxone®, Subutex®3, Zubsolv™4, Probuphine®5) is an opioid medication used to treat opioid addiction in the privacy of a physician's office.1 Buprenorphine can be dispensed for take-home use, by prescription.1 This, in addition to the pharmacological and safety profile of buprenorphine, makes it an attractive treatment for patients addicted to opioids.2

We are allowing the critics to frame the discussion

Buprenorphine News Add comments


Help pay for treatment by taking research surveys, while dispelling myths about buprenorphine treatment.

Physicians and counselors - please tell your patients about this opportunity


The home page links to current surveys conducted by researchers. These confidential surveys often pay an honorarium (usually $25-$100) which can be applied toward treatment costs. But beyond the money, patient voices need to be heard now more than ever. Recent media coverage of buprenorphine exaggerates and mischaracterizes the risks and benefits of the treatment. These surveys will gather facts to counter the erroneous assumptions made by the media.

Ongoing Buprenorphine-Patient survey: click here

We are allowing the critics and the uninformed to frame the discussion about medication-assisted treatment.

In the last 12 months we’ve seen  increasing negative hype about buprenorphine which culminated in last year’s front page Sunday New York Times piece, “Addiction Treatment with a dark side”, and more recently The Christian Monitor’s article “ Drugs for treating heroin users: a new abuse problem in the making?Smallerpapers, bloggers, and social media continue to provide misinformation thus contributing to the confusion. Also disturbing, a growing number of journalists are content assigning equal credibility to a scientific consensus as to an anonymous individual.

Consequences from this coverage are serious and growing. Patients who need lifesaving addiction treatment are now foregoing treatment due to the fear, inaccuracies and skepticism of evidence-based addiction treatments that these articles convey. Others discontinue treatment prematurely, only to relapse soon after.  This is particularly alarming considering that according to the CDC over 40 people a day die from prescription opioid overdose. Compare that with the 40 people per year claimed to be attributed, in part, to buprenorphine, and it’s clear that the greater risk lies with untreated addiction, not treatment. If this isn’t  tragic enough, legislators are about to make it even worse.

  • In direct response to the NYT article (quoted Senator), the Massachusetts State Senate, unanimously passed bill (S.1926) which places more restrictions, mandates, and regulations on buprenorphine treatment. This makes doctors even less likely to tolerate the unusual and mounting regulatory burden subject to buprenorphine providers.

  • Citing the NYT article, Ohio is considering burdensome oversight in an a attempt to micromanage physicians, requiring such things as; mandatory witnessed urine testing, dose limits and prescription frequency restrictions, attendance at 12 step groups at least 3 times per week, and more. Although, some of this may be appropriate for some patients, mandating it for all will discourage patients from treatment and providers from providing. The predictable result will be more self-medicating (thus more people seeking diverted buprenorphine), higher cost, and less treatment access.

  • In 2012 West Virginia outlawed bup/nx in tablet form…as if that was the problem. Oddly, the buprenorphine tablets without the naloxone safeguard remained legal.  This nonsense was repealed this year, but while in effect, it limited patients’ options and priced some out of this lifesaving treatment entirely.


Perhaps most troubling is that the majority of the recent articles squander the opportunity to improve understanding and arm patients with genuine facts so that they can make better decisions about their life. Few articles end with action steps for someone suffering from addiction. Hype and fear mongering, crowds out any useful information that might otherwise be imparted on readers and perhaps save lives.

The ongoing patient surveys are one effort to gather facts which will hopefully provide some evidence to counter the mischaracterization of buprenorphine treatment and put diversion and abuse in context with the substantial benefits. Please take the surveys and/or tell your patients about them. Ongoing surveys are always posted on the home page of

1 response to “We are allowing the critics to frame the discussion”

  1. NAABT Says:

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The Purpose of Buprenorphine Treatment:

To suppress the debilitating symptoms of cravings and withdrawal, enabling the patient to engage in therapy, counseling and support, so they can implement positive long-term changes in their lives which develops into the new healthy patterns of behavior necessary to achieve sustained addiction remission. - explain -

The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment is a non-profit organization charged with the mission to:

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA Talk Paper, T0238, October 8, 2002, Subutex and Suboxone approved to treat opiate dependence.
  2. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Buprenorphine in the Treatment of Opioid Addiction. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 40. DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 04-3939. Rockville, Md: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2004.
  3. Subutex Discontinued in the US market in late 2011.
  4. Zubsolv (bup/nx sublingual tablet) FDA approved 7/3/2013 see buprenorphine pipeline graphic -in pharmacies now.
  5. Bunavail (bup/nx bucal film) FDA approved 6/6/2014 see buprenorphine pipeline graphic -in pharmacies now.
  6. Probuphine FDA approved 5/26/2016 - FDA Probuphine press release