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Buprenorphine-naloxone Treatment for Pre-release Opioid-dependent Inmates in Puerto Rico

Garcia, Carmen Albizu MD; Correa, Glorimar Caraballo BS; Viver, Adriana D. Hernandez BS; Kinlock, Timothy W. PhD; Gordon, Michael S. DPA; Avila, Cristobal Antron MD; Reyes, Ivette Colón MD; Schwartz, Robert P. MD

doi: 10.1097/ADM.0b013e31814b8880
Original Article

The following study, conducted in Puerto Rico, examined the feasibility of providing daily buprenorphine-naloxone (bup-nx) in prison and on release to 45 male inmates with histories of heroin addiction. Participants were assessed at study entry and at 1 month after release (N = 42; 93.3% follow-up rate). Treatment completers compared with noncompleters had significantly greater reductions in self-reported heroin use, cocaine use, and crime and were less likely to be opioid-positive according to urine drug testing. Despite study limitations, the short-term outcomes of this study suggest that bup-nx may contribute to reductions in readdiction to heroin and in criminal activities among re-entering male prisoners.

From the Center for Evaluation and Sociomedical Research (CAG, GCC, ADHV), University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Friends Research Institute, Inc. (TWK, MSG, RPS), Social Research Center, Baltimore, MD; Division of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Social Policy (TWK), University of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD; Correctional Health Services Corporation (CAA, ICR), Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico; Open Society Institute-Baltimore (RPS), Baltimore, MD.

Received March 28, 2007; accepted July 2, 2007.

Send correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Carmen Albizu Garcia, Center for Evaluation and Sociomedical Research, Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico, P.O. Box 365067, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-5067. e-mail:

This work was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as an administrative supplement to Grant R01 DA 16237 (PI: Timothy W. Kinlock, Ph.D.).

© 2007 American Society of Addiction Medicine