Association of cannabis use with opioid outcomes among opioid-dependent youth

Kevin P. Hill, Heather E. Bennett, Margaret L. Griffin, Hilary S. Connery, Garrett M. Fitzmaurice, Geetha Subramaniam, George E. Woody, Roger D. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: Cannabis use is common among opioid-dependent patients, but studies of its association with treatment outcome are mixed. In this secondary analysis, the association of cannabis use with opioid treatment outcome is assessed. Methods: 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. Results: Participants reported a median of 3.0 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 15.0 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-345
Number of pages4
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent substance abuse
  • Buprenorphine
  • Cannabis use
  • Opioid dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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