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Buprenorphine Treatment

Health Care Resource Centers (HCRC) offers treatment with buprenorphine at 4 locations
in Maine and Massachusetts through an office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) program.

HCRC Portland

2300 Congress Street,
Portland, ME 04102

207.221.2292

HCRC New Bedford

8 Kilburn Street,
New Bedford, MA 02740

508.979.1122

HCRC Northampton

441 Pleasant Street,
Northampton, MA 01060

413.584.2404

HCRC Westfield

125 N Elm Street,
Westfield, MA 01085

413.568.6600

An OBOT program utilizes buprenorphine, or buprenorphine compounds such as Suboxone®, to eliminate withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings for illicit opioids. It is similar to a traditional opioid treatment program in that it supports the medication with in-house counseling and recovery services to provide a comprehensive treatment plan. However, OBOTs do not require a daily visit for medication. Instead they operate like a physician’s office where medication is prescribed and then filled at the patient’s pharmacy.

ADVANTAGES OF BUPRENORPHINE:

  • Buprenorphine has been in clinical use since 2002 and is proven to be effective in the treatment of opioid addiction and dependency.
  • Buprenorphine is long acting. It can be taken once a day to prevent cravings and withdrawal for 24 hours or more.
  • Overdose on buprenorphine is unlikely if taken as prescribed and safety precautions are followed.
  • When a buprenorphine compound containing naloxone is prescribed, it acts as an effective deterrent to misuse, leading to immediate withdrawal if it is injected instead of being used as directed.

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, meaning that it activates the opioid receptors in the brain, but not to the extent of a full agonist such as methadone. Buprenorphine has a “ceiling effect”, lessening its ability to be used to get “high” or feel euphoria because taking more buprenorphine does not lead to more effects. This ceiling effect also reduces side effects and the risk of overdose.

Buprenorphine compounds such as Suboxone® contain naloxone, added to decrease the likelihood of misuse. Naloxone causes no opioid effect and has no negative reaction when taken under the tongue as prescribed. However, if it is used in other ways, it can lead to instant withdrawal. This consequence of misuse is a benefit of Suboxone® not only to the patient, but to others who might illicitly attempt to misuse the medication.

For more information about medication-assisted treatment with buprenorphine, visit our
Frequently Asked Questions page.

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