Taking Buprenorphine After Nonfatal Opioid Overdose Lowers Risk of Future Overdose Death

    People who survive an opioid overdose have a lower risk of dying from a subsequent overdose if they are treated with the opioid addiction medication buprenorphine, a new study suggests.

    Researchers at Rutgers University found people who survived an opioid overdose and were treated with buprenorphine had a 62% reduced risk of dying in a subsequent opioid overdose, HealthDay reports.

    Fewer than one in 20 people studied received buprenorphine after a nonfatal opioid overdose, the researchers found. They evaluated nationwide data on Medicare disability beneficiaries ages 18 to 64 who received inpatient or emergency treatment for nonfatal opioid overdoses between 2008 and 2016.

    “Within the health care system, we need to expand availability and use of buprenorphine in general medical settings, including emergency departments and telehealth visits, and to continue working to reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorder and medication treatment more broadly,” lead researcher Hillary Samples said in a university news release.


    March 2023