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The National Alliance of Advocates
for Buprenorphine Treatment

Buprenorphine (Suboxone®, Subutex®3, Zubsolv®4, Bunavail™5, Probuphine®6) is an opioid medication used to treat opioid addiction in the privacy of a physician's office.1 Buprenorphine can be dispensed for take-home use, by prescription.1 This, in addition to the pharmacological and safety profile of buprenorphine, makes it an attractive treatment for patients addicted to opioids.2

Does buprenorphine show up in an employer drug screening?

Buprenorphine has to be specifically tested for and still  isn’t commonly included on standard drug screen panels. Buprenorphine will NOT cause a positive result on tests for other opiates. The typical urine tests used to detect methadone, oxycodone, heroin, and other opioids check for a different metabolite than that found with buprenorphine and will not show a positive result in buprenorphine (only) maintained patients.

buprenorphine drug test

There are in-office tests specifically for buprenorphine that will detect it. These tests are not common (becoming more common since 2011) but can be purchased on the internet.

When reading in-office dip-strip tests be aware that faint lines are not "false positives” see this image of how to read this type of test correctly, and follow the manufacturer instructions: Reading test results

A typical employer multi drug screen might consist of a test for Amphetamine (AMP); Barbiturates (BAR)(Phenobarbital, Secobarbitol, Butalbital); Benzodiazepines(BZO)(Valium, Xanax, Librium, Serax, Rohypnol); Cocaine (COC); Marijuana (THC); Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)(Ecstasy); Opiates (OPI); Oxycodone (OXY); Phencyclidine (PCP); Propoxyphene (PPX)(Darvon compounds); and Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCA)

Employers that expand their tests might include some of the following: Hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin), Methaqualone (Quaaludes), Methadone, Ethanol (Alcohol)

It is very unusual for an employer to test for buprenorphine, at least for now.  It is becoming more common for an employer to test for buprenorphine. (updated 2011)

Buprenorphine can be detected with drug tests for 7-10 days at typical doses, although this time could vary considerably with much higher or much lower doses along with the individual's metabolism rate.

To know if buprenorphine will be detected (providing the employer is indeed testing for buprenorphine) you can purchase your own test kit ahead of time and monitor the detectable levels of bupe to aid in scheduling the employer's drug test.

Purchase drug tests online here

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The Purpose of Buprenorphine Treatment:

To suppress the debilitating symptoms of cravings and withdrawal, enabling the patient to engage in therapy, counseling and support, so they can implement positive long-term changes in their lives which develops into the new healthy patterns of behavior necessary to achieve sustained addiction remission. - explain -

The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment is a non-profit organization charged with the mission to:

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA Talk Paper, T0238, October 8, 2002, Subutex and Suboxone approved to treat opiate dependence.
  2. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Buprenorphine in the Treatment of Opioid Addiction. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 40. DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 04-3939. Rockville, Md: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2004.
  3. Subutex Discontinued in the US market in late 2011.
  4. Zubsolv (bup/nx sublingual tablet) FDA approved 7/3/2013 see buprenorphine pipeline graphic -in pharmacies now.
  5. Bunavail (bup/nx bucal film) FDA approved 6/6/2014 see buprenorphine pipeline graphic -in pharmacies now.
  6. Probuphine FDA approved 5/26/2016 - FDA Probuphine press release