Criminal Charges Prior to and After Enrollment in Opioid Agonist Treatment: A Comparison of Methadone Maintenance and Office-based Buprenorphine

Darius A. Rastegar, Sarah Sharfstein Kawasaki, Van L. King, Elizabeth E. Harris, Robert K. Brooner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Background: Entry into methadone maintenance is associated with a reduction in criminal activity; less is known about the effects of office-based buprenorphine. Objective: To compare criminal charges before and after enrollment in methadone maintenance or office-based buprenorphine. Methods: Subjects were opioid-dependent adults who initiated either methadone maintenance (n = 252) or office-based buprenorphine (n = 252) between 2003 and 2007. Medical records were reviewed to gather demographic data and a state-maintained web-based database to collect data on criminal charges. Overall charges and drug charges in the 2 years prior to and after treatment enrollment were compared. Multivariable analysis was used to examine risk factors for charges after treatment enrollment. Results: In the 2 years after enrolling in treatment, subjects receiving methadone had a significant decline in the proportion of subjects with any charges (49.6% vs. 32.5%, p

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-811
Number of pages9
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 6 2016



  • buprenorphine
  • Crime
  • methadone
  • opioid agonist treatment
  • opioid-related disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Cite this