Home » Resources » Dictionary » Terms

Definition - What does Buprenorphine mean?

Buprenorphine is a pharmaceutical drug designed to help treat opiate dependence in patients. A physician administers buprenorphine as a part of a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program combined with auxiliary therapeutic counseling and support system networks. The Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000), permits doctors to prescribe buprenorphine to patients in regular clinical facilities such as offices, hospitals, and health department units. Buprenorphine can be an effective and safe MAT alternative in combating opiate dependence with patients following instructions provided by their doctor.

SureHire explains Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine treatment consists of progressive stages towards recovery from opiate dependence. Rehabilitation involves a gradual decrease of opiate addiction by using buprenorphine to mimic opiate effects inducing euphoria and/or relaxation. Although, dosage amounts may increase, the opiate effects reach a moderate limit neutralizing potential adverse conditions including dependence and accompanying side effects.

Treatment duration can vary based on the rate each patient is able to abstain from opiate use, eliminate cravings, and withstand side effects, in turn, lessening withdrawals. In some instances, buprenorphine can be used to substitute methadone, but this is usually contingent on the degree of chemical dependence affecting the patient.

In drug testing, buprenorphine is not generally included in standard drug screen panels unless it is ordered individually by an employer. As a result, a routine urine testing for opiates will not confirm positive results suggesting buprenorphine use. During biochemical decomposition, buprenorphine leaves behind different residual drug metabolites in the system compared to those found in heroin, methadone, and Oxycodone. While considered safe overall, buprenorphine is not without risks and can cause life threatening reactions in some patients, especially if it is abused.

Subscribe to SureNews!

Get your Reasonable Suspicion Checklist! Join our community and get access to more resources like this! Emails are sent monthly, so no need to worry, we will not fill up your inbox.