Skip to main content

Trivia: How Does Cannabis Use Affect the Risk of Opioid Abuse?

January 16, 2018

Did you know?

In a large study recently published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, how did cannabis use affect the risk of nonmedical opioid use or opioid use disorder 3 years later?

A. The risk increased.

B. The risk decreased.

C. There was no change in the risk.

Go to page 2 for the answer and more information >>

More trivia:

How Much Exercise Is Needed to Prevent Depression?

Which Substance Abuse Medication Is Not Considered Abusable?

What Is Insomnia’s Most Common Comorbidity?

How Do Geographical Differences Affect Suicide Rates?

[pagebreak]

In a large study recently published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, how did cannabis use affect the risk of nonmedical opioid use or opioid use disorder 3 years later?

A. The risk increased.

B. The risk decreased.

C. There was no change in the risk.

More information:

Using logistic regression models, researchers found cannabis use during wave 1 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (2001-2002) was associated with increased nonmedical prescription opioid use (odds ratio=5.78) and opioid use disorder (odds ratio=7.78) at wave 2 (2004-2005). After adjusting for background characteristics, the increases were smaller but the associations remained significant.

In addition, among adults who already were using opioids for nonmedical reasons at wave 1, cannabis use was associated with an increase in their nonmedical opioid use (adjusted odds ratio=3.13) at wave 2.

Among participants experiencing pain at wave 1, cannabis use was significantly associated with nonmedical opioid use (adjusted odds ratio=2.99) at wave 2. The risk of opioid use disorder also increased within the cohort, but the association with cannabis use was not significant (adjusted odds ratio=2.14).

The results were based on data from more than 34,000 people.

“Although the great majority of adults who used cannabis did not go on to initiate or increase their nonmedical opioid use, a strong prospective association between cannabis and opioid use disorder should nevertheless sound a note of caution in ongoing policy discussions concerning cannabis and in clinical debate over authorization of medical marijuana to reduce nonmedical use of prescription opioids and fatal opioid overdoses,” wrote Mark Olfson, MD, MPH, of Columbia University Medical Center in New York, and co-authors.

—Terri Airov

Reference

Olfson M, Wall MM, Liu S, Blanco C. Cannabis use and risk of prescription opioid use disorder in the United States. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2018;175(1):47-53. 

Back to Top