Publication date: May 21, 2019
While there is growing interest in the possibility that cannabis may be a partial substitute for opioids, studies have yet to examine whether individuals with co-occurring opioid and cannabis use disorders (OUD and CUD) have less risk of negative outcomes than those with OUD only.
This study sought to compare the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of patients diagnosed with co-occurring OUD and CUD to patients with OUD only, CUD only, and patients with any other drug use disorders. We hypothesized that co-occurring OUD and CUD would be associated with lower risk of inpatient admissions and emergency department (ED) visits, lower rates of homelessness, and fewer opioid prescriptions.
Comparisons were based on bivariate analyses, logistic and linear multiple regression models of National Veterans Health Administration (VHA) data from Fiscal Year 2012.
Of the 234,181 (94% male) patients diagnosed with drug use disorders, 8.6% were diagnosed with co-occurring OUD and CUD; 33.3% with OUD only; 26.5% with CUD only; and 31.6% with other drug use disorders. Compared to the OUD only group (Mean = 4.8 (SD = 8.84)), the group with co-occurring OUD and CUD was associated with a lower number of opioid prescriptions (Mean = 3.79 (SD = 8.22)) (d = -0.16), but higher likelihood of inpatient psychiatric admission (RR = 1.95) and homelessness (RR = 1.52), and no significant difference in ED visits.
These data highlight the need to further investigate whether the complex effects of cannabis use on patients with OUD are counterbalanced by potential benefits of reduced in opioid prescribing.
De Aquino, J.P., Sofuoglu, M., Stefanovics, E., and Rosenheck, R. Adverse Consequences of Co-Occurring Opioid Use Disorder and Cannabis Use Disorder Compared to Opioid Use Disorder Only. 03536. 2019 Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse.
|Multiple Regression||Cannabis smoking|
|disease||MESH||drug use disorders|
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