Cannabis could reduce fentanyl use, reduce overdose riskPosted by On

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Newswise — New research suggests that cannabis use by people in care for opioid addiction might improve their treatment outcomes and reduce their risk of being exposed to fentanyl in the contaminated unregulated drug supply.

In a paper published today in the peer-reviewed journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers from the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) and University of British Columbia (UBC) found that 53 per cent of the 819 study participants in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside were intentionally or inadvertently using fentanyl, despite being on opioid agonist treatments (OAT) like methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone. These evidence-based treatments aim to support people who want to eliminate their use of unregulated opioids, however, these findings suggest people may be supplementing their treatment through the unregulated drug supply, putting them at risk of overdose.

However, researchers found that those in the study who had urine tests positive for THC (the primary psychoactive component of cannabis) were approximately 10 per cent less likely to have fentanyl-positive urine, putting them at lower risk of a fentanyl overdose.

“These new findings suggest that cannabis could have a stabilizing impact for many patients on treatment, while also reducing the risk of overdose,” said Dr. Eugenia Socías, a clinician scientist at BCCSU and lead author of…

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Newswise — New research suggests that cannabis use by people in care for opioid addiction might improve their treatment outcomes and reduce their risk of being exposed to fentanyl in the contaminated unregulated drug supply.

In a paper published today in the peer-reviewed journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, researchers from the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) and University of British Columbia (UBC) found that 53 per cent of the 819 study participants in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside were intentionally or inadvertently using fentanyl, despite being on opioid agonist treatments (OAT) like methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone. These evidence-based treatments aim to support people who want to eliminate their use of unregulated opioids, however, these findings suggest people may be supplementing their treatment through the unregulated drug supply, putting them at risk of overdose.

However, researchers found that those in the study who had urine tests positive for THC (the primary psychoactive component of cannabis) were approximately 10 per cent less likely to have fentanyl-positive urine, putting them at lower risk of a fentanyl overdose.

“These new findings suggest that cannabis could have a stabilizing impact for many patients on treatment, while also reducing the risk of overdose,” said Dr. Eugenia Socías, a clinician scientist at BCCSU and lead author of…



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