Doctors know… – 

Nov. 7, 2020 – Currently available medication-assisted treatments for opioid use disorder include methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. According to Sauvé, methadone allows those with opioid use disorder to discontinue heroin use without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. It is available through specialty clinics, to which patients must make daily visits, and is linked to an increased risk for respiratory depression. Buprenorphine has appeared associated with active withdrawal symptoms among individuals currently using prescription opioids or heroin, so Sauvé emphasized that patients should be experiencing at least some mild withdrawal prior to starting buprenorphine. Although specialty licensing for the prescriber is required, it does not need to be administered at specialty clinics, and the risk for respiratory depression is lower compared to methadone. 

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