The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has
released what it is calling "the first practical guide" for
physicians who wish to use buprenorphine to treat patients who are addicted to
opiate prescription pain medications or heroin.
The guide is titled "Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Buprenorphine
in the Treatment of Opioid Addiction" (Treatment Improvement Protocol
40, or TIP 40). It is a consensus document produced by leading experts in
using buprenorphine to treat patients addicted to opiates, SAMHSA noted in a
The guidelines cover screening, assessment, and diagnosis of opioid
dependence and its associated problems and determining when buprenorphine is
an appropriate treatment option. It also provides information on referrals and
SAMHSA expects TIP 40 to become the basis for training thousands of U.S.
physicians to use buprenorphine in office-based settings. TIP 40 also provides
guidance to physicians who need to know how to use buprenorphine with patients
with co-occurring pain, psychological disorders, or chemical dependency
involving more than one substance.
TIP 40 may be obtained by calling SAMHSA at (800) 729-6686. More
information on office-based use of buprenorphine is posted online at<www.buprenorphine.samhsa.gov>