Background and Objectives

Physicians are challenged to effectively treat opioid dependent patients while minimizing diversion of potentially abusable medications, such as buprenorphine. The present study was designed to obtain information on steps physicians report taking to reduce diversion of buprenorphine.


National quarterly surveys from 2008 to 2009 of qualified physicians who have prescribed buprenorphine were analyzed (N = 2,330). One part of the survey queried physicians about what steps they had taken to reduce abuse and diversion of buprenorphine from a pre-specified list of 12 steps. Other parts of the survey included questions on the physicians' training and experience.


Physicians reported taking a mean of 4.4 steps. Longer experience prescribing buprenorphine, more buprenorphine-related educational training, and concern about diversion as a limitation on using buprenorphine for maintenance were associated with higher number of steps taken.

Conclusions and Scientific Significance

Physicians are currently taking multiple steps to reduce diversion. Future research needs to verify if these steps are effective or are instead reducing access to treatment. (Am J Addict 2013; 22:184–187)