Buprenorphine in maintenance treatment: experience among Italian physicians in drug addiction centers
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The aim of this study was to assess the attitudes of Italian physicians regarding buprenorphine and its clinical use approximately 6 years after the medication was introduced into clinical practice. The sample consisted of 305 randomly selected physicians, working in public centers of drug addiction. In Italy buprenorphine seems a valid tool in the field of drug addiction treatment, although it is far from replacing methadone even though it seems to guarantee better compliance. Interviewees follow clinical experience more than international guidelines, with pharmaceutical company representatives as the most cited source for information about the medication. The data also suggests a need for the development of formal guidelines for treatment with buprenorphine in Italy.