Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment Study (POATS)

Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment Study (POATS)


Responsive imageTreatment Strategies for Prescription Opioid Dependence is a package of tools and training resources for substance use disorders treatment providers. The Blending Package describes how buprenorphine works and presents the results of a National Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network (CTN) study that compared brief and extended buprenorphine treatments. The results of the study have implications for the treatment of adults dependent on prescription opioids. The POATS Blending Team (BT) package is designed to help treatment providers incorporate study findings and recommendations into their practice.


POATS Blending Team Members


  • Roger Weiss, MD, Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital
  • Hilary Smith Connery, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School, McLean Hospital
  • Joshua D. Lee, MD, MSc, New York University, Langone Medical Center
  • Jennifer Sharpe Potter, PhD, MPH, University of Texas, Health Science Center


  • Thomas E. Freese, PhD, Pacific Southwest ATTC (Co-Chair)
  • Beth Rutkowski, MPH, Pacific Southwest ATTC (Co-Chair)
  • Leslie Cohen, ATTC of New England
  • Traci Rieckmann, PhD, Northwest Frontier ATTC


  • In 2010, 22.6 million individuals aged 12 or older reported past month use of any illicit drug.
  • Prescription medications (psychotherapeutics) were the second most prevalent drug, following marijuana. Approximately 7 million individuals used a prescription medication non-medically at least once in the past month.
  • The use of a prescription opioid for non-medical reasons was 20 times more common than was heroin use.


  • Almost 50% more people sought treatment for dependence on prescription opioids than for dependence on heroin.
  • Alcohol is not included on this graph. As a point of reference, in 2010, there were a reported 131.3 million past month alcohol users in the U.S.