Contrary to some claims, people in the U.S may not be substituting cannabis for opioids, according to new research at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. The study examined the direction and strength of association between cannabis and opioid use over 90 consecutive days among adults who used non-medical opioids. The findings showed that opioid use was at least as prevalent on days when cannabis was used as on days when it was not, and that this was irrespective whether participants were experiencing pain or not. The study, published in the scientific journal Addiction, is among the first to test opioid substitution directly.
The study, which compared the probability of non-medical opioid use on days when cannabis was used with days when cannabis was not used, included 13,271 days of observation among 211 participants from the greater New York area. The participants were predominantly male, urban, unemployed, unmarried,