Blog: Street-Obtained Buprenorphine: Drug of Abuse, or Proof of Limited Access?

for sale sign“In a recent article from the journal Addictive Behaviors, researchers discovered that buprenorphine was rarely, if ever, used by IV drug users to get high. In fact, the vast majority of people who reported acquiring the medication from an illicit source did so with the expressed purpose of avoiding withdrawal symptoms. This seems to contradict the common misconception that heroin users “get high” on Suboxone, therefore we should promote abstinence-based treatment. To the contrary, studies like this one could be interpreted as evidence there is not enough access to these medications – if there were, people wouldn’t be forced to seek the drugs from street dealers or friends.”

The table on the Knowledge and Use of Buprenorphine among 602 Injection Drug Users in Baltimore, Maryland can be accessed at:

The article abstract is available at:

Source: – Substance Matters: Science and Addiction – August 24, 2013