Opioid addiction drugs severely underutilized, study finds

study finds that despite the ability of medication-assisted treatment drugs like methadone and buprenorphine to save the lives of people who’ve overdosed on opioids, they continue to be underutilized.

The study, published Monday in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine, identified and tracked nearly 18,000 adults in Massachusetts who had gone to an emergency room because of a non-fatal drug overdose between 2012 and 2014. It found that only about 30% received any sort of Food and Drug Administration-approved medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction.
Such treatment is considered the gold standard for opioid addiction and combines behavioral therapy with one of three approved drugs: methadone; buprenorphine, which is sold as Suboxone; and naltrexone, commonly sold as Vivitrol.