With the big success of Suboxone, which is fast becoming the leading drug for opiate maintenance and withdrawal, buprenorphine has vaulted into a special place within addiction medicine, and is well on its way to becoming the most successful drug ever launched within the specialty. But some doctors are starting to remind others that the uses of buprenorphine can go far beyond the practice of addiction medicine, pointing out that the drug is highly effective in many instances for the treatment of chronic pain. And, indeed, the increasing use of buprenorphine to treat chronic pain returns the drug to its roots from many years ago as a pain killer. The first FDA approvals for buprenorphine were for treating pain, and the drug was first commercially marketed as Buprenex for pain management. Dr. Howard Kornfeld, who has a thriving pain management and addictions practice outside of San Francisco, says that he has treated many patients with buprenorphine for chronic pain, with very outstanding results. This is an effective drug for pain that carries less risk for strong physical dependency.