Heroin addiction is a deadly disease that affects drug users of all ages. Recent research has revealed that a drug known as buprenorphine may help heroin addicts stay clean according to a U.S. study. Over a 24-week period, 126 detoxified heroin-dependent patients were placed into a study that compared three different types of drug groups. The first group was given naltrexone, which is a standard treatment for drug abuse, the second group was given buprenorphine and the third group was given a placebo and was used as a control for the study. Throughout the duration of the study, researchers compared heroin abstinence, prevention of relapse, and reduction of HIV risk behavior among the three different groups. The results determined that the patients that had been given buprenorphine were far more effective in all three categories. The group taking the buprenorphine lasted almost twice as long in both heroin relapse and time until first heroin use compared to those in the group who had been given the naltrexone. They also had more than twice as many continuous days of abstinence compared to the placebo group. As far as the HIV risk, the results determined that there was no significant difference between the groups as the behaviors in all three groups had diminished.
“Our findings lend support to the widespread dissemination of treatment with buprenorphine as an effective public health approach to reduce problems associated with heroin dependence,”
Concluded Dr. Richard Schottenfeld, of Yale University School of Medicine. These findings have led many medical experts to believe that naltrexone should no longer be the only treatment for opioid dependence. The introduction of burprenorphine comes as an incredible breakthrough for the treatment of heroin addicts and could possibly become an effective public health measure leading towards more success stories in the world of drug recovery. For more information about drug and alcohol treatment, please visit The Right Step today!