According to new clinical trial data published in the journal Addiction, daily marijuana users in opioid dependence therapy are more likely to complete their treatment than non-users.
Researchers assessed retention rates among 820 people enrolled in either methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone-based treatment programs, NORML reports.
“[I]ndividuals initiating OAT (opioid agonist treatment) were approximately 21 percent more likely to be retained in treatment at six months if they reported ≥ daily use of cannabis. This finding persisted after adjustment for a range of confounders,” the researchers stated.
The researchers concluded that, “Given the well-known mortality risk reduction benefit of sustained engagement in OAT, findings from the present study alongside prior research evidence support the urgent need for clinical research to evaluate the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids as adjunctive treatment to OAT to address the escalating opioid-overdose epidemic.”
Previous studies have continually reported lower rates of opioid abuse and mortality in places where marijuana access is legalized.