Buprenorphine prescription, misuse and service provision: A global perspective

Roger Chun Man Ho, Kai Yang Chen, Birit Broekman, Anselm Mak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Buprenorphine, a partial μ-opioid agonist and κ-opioid antagonist, is recommended as safe and effective maintenance treatment for opioid dependence. It offers the possibility of management in primary care settings. However, its prescription has led to diversion for illicit recreational use and resulted in medical complications and, rarely, fatal overdose in combination with other sedatives. The outcome of buprenorphine maintenance programmes varies from country to country and it is determined by the local therapeutic traditions, regulatory restrictions and existing service provision for opioid misusers. This article addresses the pharmacology of buprenorphine, the benefits and drawbacks of its prescription, service provision for opioid misuse around the world, policy recommendations, and prescribing training requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-363
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in Psychiatric Treatment
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2009

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