Buprenorphine Treatment Outcomes among Opioid-Dependent Cocaine Users and Non-Users
Article first published online: 15 MAY 2013
Copyright © American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
The American Journal on Addictions
Volume 22, Issue 4, pages 352–357, JulyߝAugust 2013
How to Cite
Cunningham, C. O., Giovanniello, A., Kunins, H. V., Roose, R. J., Fox, A. D. and Sohler, N. L. (2013), Buprenorphine Treatment Outcomes among Opioid-Dependent Cocaine Users and Non-Users. The American Journal on Addictions, 22: 352–357. doi: 10.1111/j.1521-0391.2013.12032.x
- Issue published online: 24 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 15 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 17 AUG 2011
- Manuscript Received: 25 JUN 2011
Background and Objectives
National treatment guidelines state that polysubstance users, including cocaine users, may not be appropriate candidates for office-based buprenorphine treatment. However, data to support this recommendation are sparse and conflicting, and the implications of this recommendation may include limiting the usefulness of buprenorphine treatment, as cocaine use is common among opioid-dependent individuals seeking buprenorphine treatment. We compared buprenorphine treatment outcomes (6-month treatment retention and self-reported opioid use over 6 months) in opioid-dependent cocaine users versus non-users who initiated buprenorphine treatment at an urban community health center.
We followed 87 participants over 6 months, collecting interview and medical record data. We used logistic regression models to test whether baseline cocaine use was associated with treatment retention and mixed effects nonlinear models to test whether baseline cocaine use was associated with self-reported opioid use.
At baseline, 39.1% reported cocaine use. In all participants, self-reported opioid use decreased from 89.7% to 27.4% over 6 months, and 6-month treatment retention was 54.5%. We found no significant difference in 6-month treatment retention (AOR = 1.56, 95% CI: .58–4.17, p = .38) or self-reported opioid use (AOR = .89, 95% CI: .26–3.07, p = .85) between cocaine users and non-users.
Conclusions and Scientific Significance
This study demonstrates that buprenorphine treatment retention is not worse in cocaine users than non-users, with clinically meaningful improvements in self-reported opioid use. These findings suggest that opioid-dependent cocaine users attain considerable benefits from office-based buprenorphine treatment and argue for the inclusion of these patients in office-based buprenorphine treatment programs. (Am J Addict 2013;22:352–357)