Compared to patients receiving methadone maintenance treatment, patients receiving office-based Buprenorphine treatment in the United States are more likely to be younger, Caucasian, relatively affluent and dependent on prescription opioids.
One issue with Buprenorphine is that, by allowing more physicians to offer treatment for opiate addiction, it alters the demographic of those seeking help. One study found that patients getting Buprenorphine in a primary care setting are more likely to be younger, male and holding full time jobs and less likely to be injecting drugs than patients in a traditional methadone clinic (Sullivan et al., 2005). Also, there is evidence that compared to those seeking help with heroin addiction, those seeking treatment for prescription-opiate addiction are more likely to be Caucasian and earn a higher income and may be more likely to complete treatment (Moore et al., 2007). It may be that Buprenorphine, by being more available within the medical system, allows access to addiction treatment for patients who would not consider enrolling in methadone maintenance treatment.