Adding Telephone Support to Office-Based Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Dependence Has Modest Effects
HereToHelp™ (HTH) is a telephonic support system for people with opioid dependence developed by Reckitt Benckiser, the manufacturer of Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone). For this study, 1426 patients new to buprenorphine treatment were recruited from 324 sites and randomized to standard care or HTH (up to 8 coaching calls providing support in 3 areas: education about opioid dependence and treatment; assistance resolving challenges within treatment; and encouragement to stay in treatment). Outcomes were assessed for those who completed the 12-month follow-up survey (n=939; 66%). The main outcome was adherence, defined as taking buprenorphine as prescribed for at least 80% of the previous 28 days.
- Adherence was not significantly different between the 2 groups (55%), but those in the HTH group who accepted at least 3 calls reported better adherence (64%).
- Subjects in the HTH group were less likely to report using opioids in the previous month (12.9% versus 17.8%).
- There was no significant difference in Addiction Severity Index composite scores between groups.
- Subjects in the HTH group were more likely to report attending a self-help group (34.2% versus 27.0%).