Cannabis Use By Methadone Maintenance Patients Associated With Fewer Opioid Overdoses

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The usage of hashish by sufferers enrolled in a methadone upkeep remedy program is related to fewer nonfatal opioid overdoses, in response to the outcomes of a just lately printed examine. An summary of the analysis, “Cannabis Use and Nonfatal Opioid Overdose amongst Patients Enrolled in Methadone Maintenance Therapy,” was printed on-line final month by the journal Substance Use & Misuse.

To finish the examine, researchers with the College of Washington, the College of Rhode Island, the VA Portland Well being System, and the Oregon Well being & Science College recruited sufferers present process methadone upkeep remedy (MMT) for opioid use dysfunction (OUD) at 4 clinics in Washington and southern New England. Patients had been requested to finish a one-time survey, which included questions on their hashish use over the previous month.

Knowledge from the survey was then analyzed to check the prevalence and threat of nonfatal opioid overdose over the earlier 12 months “between contributors reporting frequent (at the very least weekly) or rare (as soon as or none) hashish use up to now month.”

Likelihood Of Overdose 71% Decrease Amongst Frequent Cannabis Customers

Among the many 446 contributors of the examine, 35% reported frequent hashish use and seven% reported nonfatal opioid overdose up to now yr. The prevalence of nonfatal opioid overdose was 3% amongst reporters of frequent hashish use, and 9% amongst respondents who reported rare or no hashish use up to now month.

“Amongst people enrolled in MMT, frequent hashish use up to now month was related to fewer self-reported nonfatal opioid overdoses up to now yr,” the researchers wrote of their conclusion.

After controlling for demographic and medical components, researchers decided that “the probability of self-reported nonfatal opioid overdose up to now yr was 71% decrease amongst reporters of frequent hashish use up to now month.”

The researchers famous that prior research have discovered decrease charges of opioid use in states which have enacted liberalized hashish laws, however outcomes had been combined and the affiliation had not been analyzed in people. 

“To our information, that is the primary examine to look at the affiliation between hashish use and opioid overdoses in people. The outcomes present preliminary proof of a hyperlink between hashish use and decrease prevalence of opioid overdose amongst folks enrolled in MMT,” the authors of the examine wrote, as quoted by the Nationwide Group for the Reform of Marijuana Legal guidelines NORML).

Extra Analysis Wanted

The authors famous that the restrictions of the examine “warning in opposition to causal interpretation” of the affiliation between hashish use and the probability of nonfatal opioid overdose.

“Nevertheless, these preliminary findings encourage extra analysis to know how hashish use and non-fatal opioid overdose are associated,” they added.

In a launch from NORML, the hashish coverage reform advocacy group famous that the analysis is in step with dozens of different research which have proven an affiliation between hashish use and a discount in the usage of opioids. In February, the British Medical Journal reported that improved entry to medical hashish by storefront retailers and dispensaries is related to declines in opioid-related deaths.



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