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Medication Treatment: Buprenorphine

What is buprenorphine (Brand names: Suboxone, Subutex)?

  • Buprenorphine is a type of opioid that acts as a partial agonist in the brain.  
  • Buprenorphine activates the opioid receptor in the brain just enough to stop a person from going into withdrawal and experiencing strong cravings to use opioids.
  • Because buprenorphine only partially switches on the opioid receptor, it does not activate the rewarding/highly pleasurable sensations like other opioids such as heroin do.
  • Buprenorphine strongly attaches to the brain’s opioid receptors, which also means that it can block the effects of other opioids such as heroin if a person uses heroin while taking buprenorphine.

 Click on image below to download Fact Sheet

Additional Resources:

The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment