Summary and Analysis
With the expanded use of buprenorphine in its various forms for addiction treatment, there are more reports surfacing of buprenorphine diversion and abuse. This should not come as a surprise. In this 2009 article published in Emergency Medicine News, it was reported that buprenorphine was abused “more than cocaine, GHB, or ecstasy” in Scandinavian countries and that it has gained “great popularity as a street drug.” Further, “snorting or injecting the non-naloxone preparation is a common recreational activity in Europe” and “it’s only a matter of time until U.S. addicts catch on.” This situation should be well known by anyone recommending medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and thoroughly considered when assessing the merits of MAT.
Excerpted from Emergency Medicine News
BPN is abused more than cocaine, GHB, or ecstasy in Scandinavian countries, where it has gained great popularity as a street drug. Snorting or injecting the non-naloxone preparation is a common recreational activity in Europe, but it has not yet reached great proportions in the United States. But it’s only a matter of time until U.S. addicts catch on. BPN cannot be detected by a urine drug screen, and I can envision it gaining use for affluent oxycodone addicts whose private physicians address addiction in a manner more civilized than the local methadone clinic.