for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
study started
completion around



VA-BRAVE will determine whether a 28-day long-acting injectable sub-cutaneous (in the belly area) formulation of buprenorphine at a target dose of 300mg is superior in retaining Veterans in opioid treatment and in sustaining opioid abstinence compared to the daily sublingual (under the tongue) buprenorphine formulation at a target dose of 16-32 mg (standard of care). This is an open-label, randomized, controlled trial including 952 Veterans with opioid use disorder (OUD) recruited over 3 years and followed actively for 52 weeks. There are a number of secondary objectives that will be studied as well and include: comorbid substance use, both non-fatal and fatal opioid overdose, HIV and Hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) testing results and risk behaviors, incarceration, quality of life, psychiatric symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, housing status, dental health and utilization, and cost-effectiveness.

Official Title

CSP #2014 - Comparative Effectiveness of Two Formulations of Buprenorphine for Treating Opioid Use Disorder in Veterans (VA-BRAVE)


CSP2014 is the first direct long-term comparison of monthly injectable versus daily SL buprenorphine. In addition to its impact on the care of Veterans, the results of VA-BRAVE will provide critical data to guide effective treatment of opioid use disorder throughout the United States.

The CSP2014 study population is Veterans aged 18 years diagnosed with moderate to severe opioid use disorder (OUD)by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)-5th edition criteria. Veterans must be entering a new episode of opioid use disorder care prior to study start.

There are two primary outcomes that address key Veterans Health Administration (VHA) clinical issues related to opioid use disorder treatment. The first is retention on protocol-directed medication treatment (sublingual or injectable sub-cutaneous buprenorphine). The second primary outcome is opioid abstinence using the systematic Timeline Followback method of self-report and corresponding urine toxicology screens.

VA-BRAVE includes a 52-week intervention and 52-week active assessment period, and up to a 10-year passive follow-up for the duration of the study. Participants are inducted on daily SL buprenorphine using SAMHSA guidelines and dosed upward for a target dose of 16-32 mg for 3 days (more than 3 days may be required if deemed clinically necessary; should not exceed 30 days). Once reaching the target dose, participants are randomized 1:1 and assigned to receive at each 28-day research visit either: 1) a 28-day take-home supply of SL buprenorphine, prescribed at the clinically determined dose, or 2) injectable sub-cutaneous buprenorphine administered in the clinic (target dose = 300mg; 100mg dose may be used for those who cannot tolerate 300mg). Participants also receive Medication Management intervention at these visits.

Study visits for all participants occur at Weeks 1, 2, 3 and 4 post-randomization, and biweekly thereafter through Week 52. Self-reported abstinence and urine toxicology screens are obtained at biweekly visits. Following one year of active follow-up, administrative data will be used to follow participants for up to 10 years for early enrollees and up to 7 years for late enrollees. The recruitment expectation is 15 new participants per study year per study site. There will be 20 participating VA Medical Center sites.


Opioid Use Disorder, Buprenorphine, Veterans, Clinical Trial, Abstinence, Opioid-Related Disorders, Substance-Related Disorders, Naloxone, Sublingual buprenorphine with naloxone, Injectable subcutaneous buprenorphine


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • Has used opioids within 30 days prior to consent or within 30 days prior to entry into a supervised setting -- e.g., opioid use within the 30 days prior to recent (<30 days) incarceration, entry into a detoxification facility, or entry into an inpatient hospital setting
  • Have started on MOUD via clinical induction on SL-BUP/NLX
  • Meets DSM-5 criteria for moderate to severe OUD based on the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview
  • Referred to/seeking treatment for OUD and willing to accept "partial-agonist-based" therapy

You CAN'T join if...

  • Is a Veteran less than 18 years of age
  • For Veterans of childbearing potential (a premenopausal person capable of becoming pregnant), pregnancy, breastfeeding, and/or failure to practice an effective method of birth control
  • Taking a form of prescribed maintenance MOUD (e.g., methadone, buprenorphine or XR-NTX) continuously >30 days prior to consent.
  • Taking a form of prescribed maintenance MOUD (e.g., methadone, buprenorphine or XR-NTX) continuously >45 days prior to randomization
  • Has a history of significant adverse effects from buprenorphine and/or naloxone
  • Has experienced (within the past 2 weeks) recent suicidal or homicidal ideation that requires acute treatment or hospitalization.
  • Is unwilling or unable to provide consent
  • Meets criteria for current (past month) DSM-5 severe sedative hypnotic use disorder based on the MINI SHUD module
  • Is determined unsuitable for study participation based on the clinical judgement of the LSI or Co-I given results of a CIWA-Ar, physical exam, and/or liver or kidney function tests and/or blood tests
  • Has any other medical, psychiatric, behavioral, or logistical condition which, in the judgement of the LSI or Co-I, makes it unlikely the participant can participate in or complete the 52-week active phase of the study
  • Is actively participating in an interventional clinical trial for which a waiver of dual-enrollment with CSP#2014 has not been obtained


  • San Francisco VA Medical Center, San Francisco, CA accepting new patients
    San Francisco California 94121-1563 United States
  • VA Long Beach Healthcare System, Long Beach, CA accepting new patients
    Long Beach California 90822 United States
  • VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA accepting new patients
    Palo Alto California 94304-1207 United States


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
VA Office of Research and Development
Phase 4 research study
Study Type
Expecting 952 study participants
Last Updated