Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Reduced Rates of Opioid Use Among Pain Patients With HIV

NEW YORK, NY — HIV patients suffering from chronic pain are far less likely to use prescription opioid drugs if they consume cannabis, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Substance Use & Misuse.

A team of investigators from the City University of New York School of Medicine and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine assessed trends in the use of controlled substances among HIV-infected patients suffering from chronic pain.

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Researchers reported that subjects who consumed cannabis were significantly less likely than non-users to use opioid prescription drugs.

They concluded:

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“Our data suggest that new medical cannabis legislation might reduce the need for opioid analgesics for pain management, which could help to address adverse events associated with opioid analgesic use.”

Separate studies have reported that legal cannabis access is associated with lower rates of opioid-related use, abuse, hospitalization, and mortality.

Full text of the study, “Cannabis use is associated with lower odds of prescription opioid analgesic use among HIV-infected individuals with chronic pain,” appears in Substance Use & Misuse.

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