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Washington Post - Februrary 23. 2017
Many People Keep Taking Prescription Opioids During Addiction Treatment
The grip of opioid addiction is so strong that many people who undergo treatment relapse repeatedly. Now a study by Johns Hopkins University researchers offers new clues about why treatment is so difficult. The researchers discovered that 43 percent of people receiving buprenorphine, a widely used anti-addiction medication, filled at least one prescription for opioids — which they presumably consumed or diverted to others.
They also found that the average length of stay on buprenorphine was just 55 days, much less than the months or years that experts believe it may take to conquer a substance-abuse disorder with the help of such drugs. Once patients stopped getting the anti-addiction medication, two-thirds of them went back to filling prescriptions for opioids, according to the study, published Thursday in the journal Addiction.