The main goals of opioid treatment in heroin addiction are to eliminate or reduce the use of heroin and other substances of abuse, to promote patients’ social rehabilitation and to improve their quality of life. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of buprenorphine and methadone on the quality of life of patients. These subjects were sampled on the basis of the same severity of illness and the same impairment of quality of life at the start of treatment. 50 patients (41 male and 9 female) in buprenorphine treatment and 83 patients (63 males and 20 females) in methadone treatment, were evaluated regarding their retention in treatment, the use of substances, their clinical improvement and their quality of life over a one year period. In markedly ill patients buprenorphine and methadone both successfully and similarly reduce substance abuse and the severity of illness. Patients treated with buprenorphine show a better improvement of quality of life especially regarding improvements in jobs, leisure activities, income and self-acceptance. We conclude that Buprenorphine is a good choice for markedly ill patients with severe impairment in their quality of life parameters.
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