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More primary care doctors, specialists prescribing buprenorphine to treat patients for opioid addiction

January 10, 2019 / Joanne Finnegan

Given the country’s opioid crisis, multiple laws across the country were changed to allow more physicians to prescribe buprenorphine to help patients addicted to opioids. Those changes appear to have paid off. According to a new study in Health Affairs, the number of primary care physicians and specialists prescribing buprenorphine during office visits increased significantly over a nine-year period. The study analyzed data from 2006 to 2014 and found a growing involvement of physicians—beyond addiction medicine specialists and psychiatrists who typically treated opioid use disorders—prescribing buprenorphine, a drug that can help patients stay off opioids and reduce overdose deaths.