This, according to a new study, is that individuals with alcohol dependence who misused opioids and those who used cannabis and other drugs
are more likely to drink heavily and frequently during and after treatment.
‘Opioid misuse may reduce the effectiveness of treatments in alcohol use disorder as those who used cannabis and other drugs are more likely to drink heavily and frequently during and after treatment.’
On average, individuals with opioid misuse engaged in heavy drinking 48 days earlier in treatment, drank heavily on approximately 8 percent and 13 percent more days in the last month of treatment and one year following treatment, respectively, and consumed 4 more drinks per peak drinking occasion than individuals without opioid misuse and no other drug use.
"This study provides evidence that we cannot ignore alcohol and other drug use when discussing potential impacts of the opioid epidemic," said lead author Dr. Katie Witkiewitz, of the University of New Mexico. Individuals who misuse opioids have poorer outcomes in multiple domains, and the current study identified a much higher risk of alcohol relapse among those with opioid misuse in alcohol treatment."