Opioid misuse has become a significant public health problem. Despite efforts to control its use, opioid is still the most widely prescribed class of medicines. Now, a new studyshows that when adults mix prescription opioids for pain with marijuana or cannabis, they report higher rates of anxiety and depression symptoms.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, has found that adults who take prescription opioids for chronic pain are at a higher risk of developing anxiety and depression if they also use marijuana or cannabis.
Opioids are often prescribed to treat chronic and severe pain, despite the presence of risks. Cannabis or marijuana, on the other hand, is another substance that has been recently used to manage chronic pain. The use of these two substances manifests poorer outcomes than when the only one is used, but little is still known about the impact of opioid-cannabis co-use.
Rogers focuses on the use of opioid use on chronic pain, determining the underlying psychological mechanisms, including emotion regulation, anxiety sensitivity, and pain-related anxiety.
Some patients may want chronic pain to stop and disappear. Hence, they may resort to co-using of two pain relievers, such as opioid and cannabis. The researchers recommend that thorough assessment in chronic pain treatments should be done.
“These findings highlight a vulnerable population of polysubstance users with chronic pain, and indicates the need for more comprehensive assessment and treatment of chronic pain,” the researchers concluded in the study.