Singapore's Experience With Buprenorphine


Alireza Noroozi 1 , * , Fahimeh Mianji 2

1 Psychiatrist, Senior Medical Officer of Treatment Programs. Room No 510. 5th Floor, Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Office (SAPTO), Deputy for Health (DH), Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Education, Hafez St., Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Psychology, Tonekabon Azad University, Tonekabon, Iran

How to Cite: Noroozi A, Mianji F. Singapore's Experience With Buprenorphine, Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. 2008 ; 2(1):54-9.


Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences: 2 (1); 54-9
Published Online: January 31, 2008
Article Type: Short Communication
Received: December 01, 2007
Accepted: December 31, 2007


Buprenorphine (Subutex) has been used to treat opioid dependency in the past 16 years. Subutex (or buprenorphine hydrochloride) was approved by the Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) in 2000 as a substitution treatment for opiate-dependent drug abusers within the framework of medical, social and psychological treatments. It was subsequently introduced into the Singapore market in 2002. In spite of the promise of improvement in the lives of addicts with medical care, a distinct trend of buprenorphine abuse has occurred. A cascade of events from 2002 to 2006 led to discontinuation of Subutex treatment programs in the country. In this paper, firstly reports on morbidity and mortality caused by Subutex IV abuse will be reviewed and secondly, the MOH response to the situation will be outlined and finally, implications of Singapore’s experience with Subutex will be discussed


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