[Buprenorphine or methadone for detoxification of young opioid addicts?]

Roland Ebner, Wolfgang Schreiber, Christoph Zierer
Psychiatrische Praxis 2004, 31: S108-10

OBJECTIVE: Comparison of buprenorphine vs. methadone to determine which medication is better for the detoxification of young opioid addicts.

METHOD: 93 consecutive opioid-dependent patients (ICD-10) from an in-patient detoxification unit for adolescents were investigated, of which 42 chose buprenorphine and 51 chose methadone for detoxification. Both groups did not differ with regard to different sociodemographic and addiction-specific variables such as age, gender, initiation of drug consumption and duration of opioid intake.

RESULTS: 23.5 % of the methadone patients and 38.1 % of the buprenorphine patients finished detoxification successfully, in addition the buprenorphine patients finished detoxification 1.62 days earlier. There was no significant difference concerning these items.

CONCLUSION: Buprenorphine seems to be at least as effective as methadone for opioid withdrawal in young addicts.

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