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Lack of Association of Cannabis Use with Opioid Outcomes Among Opioid-Dependent Youth.

Poster presented at the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) annual meeting, San Diego, CA, June 15-20, 2013.

Kevin P. Hill, MD, MPH (McLean Hospital, NEC Node), Heather E. Bennett (McLean Hospital, NEC Node), Margaret L. Griffin, PhD (McLean Hospital, NEC Node), Hilary S. Connery, MD, PhD (McLean Hospital, NEC Node), Garrett M. Fitzmaurice, ScD (McLean Hospital, NEC Node), Geetha A. Subramaniam, MD (Center for the Clinical Trials Network, NIDA), George E. Woody, MD (Treatment Research Institute, DV Node), Roger D. Weiss, MD (McLean Hospital, NEC Node).

Cannabis use is common among opioid-dependent patients, but studies of its association with treatment outcome are mixed. In this secondary analysis of National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network protocol CTN-0010 ("Buprenorphine/Naloxone-Facilitated Rehabilitation for Opioid Dependent Adolescents/Young Adults"), the association of cannabis use with opioid treatment outcomes is assessed. In the main study, participants (N=152) aged 15-21 years were randomized to receive psychosocial treatments and either a 12-week course of buprenorphine/naloxone with a dose taper to zero in weeks 9-12, or a 2-week detoxification with buprenorphine/naloxone. Drug use was assessed by self-report and urine drug screen at baseline and during study weeks 1-12. The association between cannabis and opioid use at weeks 4, 8, and 12 was examined using logistic regression models. Participants reported a median of 3 days (range=0-30) cannabis use in the past month; half (50.3%, n=77) reported occasional use; one-third reported no use (33.1%, n=50), and one-sixth reported daily cannabis use (16.6%, n=25). Median lifetime cannabis use was 4.0 years (range=0-11) and median age of initiation of use was 15 years (range 9-21). Neither past cannabis use (age of initiation and use in the month prior to baseline), nor concurrent use, was associated with level of opioid use.

Conclusions: Overall, cannabis use had no association with opioid use over 12 weeks in this sample of opioid-dependent youth. While cannabis use remains potentially harmful, it was not a predictor of poor opioid treatment outcome, as measured by opioid urine drug screens, in this sample. (Poster, PDF, English, 2013)

Keywords: Adolescents | Buprenorphine/Naloxone | CTN platform/ancillary study | Marijuana | Opioid dependence | Opioid detoxification | Pharmacological therapy | Suboxone | Young adults | College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) annual meeting, 2013

Document No: 1008

Submitted by Kevin Hill, MD, MPH, NEC Node, 6/26/2013.


Bennett, Margaret L. search
Connery, Hilary S. search mail
Fitzmaurice, Garrett M. search
Griffin, Margaret L. search
Hill, Kevin P. search mail
Subramaniam, Geetha A. search mail
Woody, George E. search mail
Weiss, Roger D. search mail
NIDA-CTN-0010 search www

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Supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.
The materials on this site have neither been created nor reviewed by NIDA.
Updated 6/2013 --
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