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Clinic-based Treatment for Opioid Dependence: A Qualitative Inquiry

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Objectives: To identify barriers and facilitators to treatment of opioid dependence in primary care clinics. Methods: In-depth interviews with 27 New York State clinic directors. Results: Stigmatizing attitudes emerged as a major barrier. Respondents often viewed opioid-dependent persons as manipulative, demanding, and disruptive. Commonly cited facilitators were physician training, increased office staffing, and greater mental health, social services, and addictions support. Conclusions: Our study reveals attitudinal barriers to address and supportive factors to promote in order to increase the limited availability of office-based treatment of opioid dependence in the United States compared with other countries.

Keywords: buprenorphine; drug users; opioid dependence; primary care; substance abuse treatment

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Senior Research Investigator, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. 2: Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. 3: Research Coordinator, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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