University of Wisconsin–Madison


Addressing patients’ beliefs should also be part of a plan to implement or expand treatment with buprenorphine.

Buprenorphine reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings significantly. Clients who have experienced withdrawal from opiates may be highly motivated to accept buprenorphine treatment.

Other clients may resist starting buprenorphine because they believe:

  • They’re not really drug-free if they use medication as part of their treatment
  • They’re not welcome in the 12-step community if they use medication
  • Buprenorphine has unpleasant side effects
  • Buprenorphine doesn’t work for treating an opioid use disorder

Some may also have a lot of fear and anxiety about the tapering process.

Education and Training

Providing education and training about buprenorphine and its effectiveness will help to secure buy-in from staff, clients, prescribers, the community, and the criminal justice system.


Conduct “in reach” with clients receiving detoxification services.  Having clients meet with a counselor while they’re still in detox can help to increase continuation in treatment and use of medication.

Read more about securing buy-in from clients:

Three Ways to Improve Transitions from Detox to Continuing Care

Page Updated: 09/25/2020

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