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The association between health conditions and cannabis use in patients with opioid use disorder receiving methadone maintenance treatment

  • Ieta Shams (a1), Nitika Sanger (a2), Meha Bhatt (a3), Tea Rosic (a4), Candice Luo (a5), Hamnah Shahid (a6), Natalia Mouravska (a7), Sabrina Lue Tam (a8), Alannah Hillmer (a9), Caroul Chawar (a9), Alessia D'Elia (a9), Jacqueline Hudson (a10), David Marsh (a11), Lehana Thabane (a12) and Zainab Samaan (a13)...

Abstract

Background

Cannabis is the most commonly used substance among patients in methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) for opioid use disorder. Current treatment programmes neither screen nor manage cannabis use. The recent legalisation of cannabis in Canada incites consideration into how this may affect the current opioid crisis.

Aims

Investigate the health status of cannabis users in MMT.

Method

Patients were recruited from addiction clinics in Ontario, Canada. Regression analyses were used to assess the association between adverse health conditions and cannabis use. Further analyses were used to assess sex differences and heaviness of cannabis use.

Results

We included 672 patients (49.9% cannabis users). Cannabis users were more likely to consume alcohol (odds ratio 1.46, 95% CI 1.04–2.06, P = 0.029) and have anxiety disorders (odds ratio 1.75, 95% CI 1.02–3.02, P = 0.043), but were less likely to use heroin (odds ratio 0.45, 95% CI 0.24–0.86, P = 0.016). There was no association between cannabis use and pain (odds ratio 0.98, 95% CI 0.94–1.03, P = 0.463). A significant association was seen between alcohol and cannabis use in women (odds ratio 1.79, 95% CI 1.06–3.02, P = 0.028), and anxiety disorders and cannabis use in men (odds ratio 2.59, 95% CI 1.21–5.53, P = 0.014). Heaviness of cannabis use was not associated with health outcomes.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that cannabis use is common and associated with psychiatric comorbidities and substance use among patients in MMT, advocating for screening of cannabis use in this population.

Declaration of interest

None.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Zainab Samaan, Mood Disorders Program, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, 100 West 5th Street, Hamilton ON L8N 3K7, Canada. Email: samaanz@mcmaster.ca

References

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The association between health conditions and cannabis use in patients with opioid use disorder receiving methadone maintenance treatment

  • Ieta Shams (a1), Nitika Sanger (a2), Meha Bhatt (a3), Tea Rosic (a4), Candice Luo (a5), Hamnah Shahid (a6), Natalia Mouravska (a7), Sabrina Lue Tam (a8), Alannah Hillmer (a9), Caroul Chawar (a9), Alessia D'Elia (a9), Jacqueline Hudson (a10), David Marsh (a11), Lehana Thabane (a12) and Zainab Samaan (a13)...

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The association between health conditions and cannabis use in patients with opioid use disorder receiving methadone maintenance treatment

  • Ieta Shams (a1), Nitika Sanger (a2), Meha Bhatt (a3), Tea Rosic (a4), Candice Luo (a5), Hamnah Shahid (a6), Natalia Mouravska (a7), Sabrina Lue Tam (a8), Alannah Hillmer (a9), Caroul Chawar (a9), Alessia D'Elia (a9), Jacqueline Hudson (a10), David Marsh (a11), Lehana Thabane (a12) and Zainab Samaan (a13)...
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