Using a Patient Contract During Buprenorphine Treatment

Discussing rules and expectations is an important step when starting a patient on buprenorphine treatment. Some providers choose to use a printed patient contract that clearly spells out the rules and terms of treatment. Such a document protects both the patient and the provider it explains privacy and confidentiality and outlines the patient's responsibilities in treatment, as well as the consequences for breaking the rules of the contract.

When writing a patient contract, be sure to spell out the offenses that are allowable to some extent (e.g., a patient who misses one appointment can continue in treatment) and those that are not allowable (e.g., a patient who steals from or vandalizes the office will be discharged from treatment).

Related Resources: 
Patient contract that can be used to set expectations and guidelines before beginning buprenorphine treatment.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)