No Additional Benefit of CBT in Treating Opioid Addiction with Buprenorphine

The addition of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to medical treatment for opioid dependence does not significantly enhance outcomes compared with medical treatment alone, new research shows. The study, published in the January issue of the American Journal of Medicine, involved 141 opioid-dependent patients recruited from a primary care clinic who were being treated with buprenorphine.

David Fiellin, MD, and colleagues from the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, found that CBT provided by trained clinicians did not improve abstinence from opioid use or retention rates in treatment programs when added to physician management alone.

On January 23, 2013 the full article was available for free to view online at:

Source: Medscape Medical News – January 10, 2013


  1. Chris Kelly says

    Researchers have done this same type of study over and over, opiate addiction is a BRAIN DISEASE, why would anyone even think that “counseling” would help? Its the medication that treats this disease, not CBT, MATRIX, or other types of “talk therapy”. Sure its a nice add on, but with the opiate addiction numbers we have in the USA, we need more doctors prescribing buprenorphine and methadone, not more State and Federally mandated counseling.

    Remove the 100 patient limit for buprenorphine prescribing, and possibly the extra DEA certification, medically mainstream methadone treatment into regular medicine, make it easier for people who want medication assisted treatment to access it.

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