Trends in Opioid Misuse among Marijuana Users and Non-Users in the U.S. from 2007–2017
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA
Department of Social Medicine, Population and Public Health, University of California, Riverside School of Medicine, Riverside, CA 92501, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4585; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224585
Received: 17 October 2019 / Revised: 15 November 2019 / Accepted: 16 November 2019 / Published: 19 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Prescription-opioid misus e continues to be a significant health concern in the United States. The relationship between marijuana use and prescription-opioid misuse is not clear from the extant literature. This study examined national trends in prescription-opioid misuse among marijuana users and non-users using the 2007–2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Cochran–Armitage tests were used to assess the statistical significance of changes in the yearly prevalence of prescription-opioid misuse and marijuana use. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the association between prescription-opioid and marijuana use adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics. From 2007 to 2017, marijuana use increased, while prescription-opioid misuse declined. Larger declines in prescription-opioid misuse were found among marijuana users than non-users. Marijuana ever-use was significantly associated with prescription-opioid misuse. Specifically, marijuana ever-users had higher odds of prescription-opioid misuse (ever-misuse [OR: 3.04; 95% CI, 2.68–3.43]; past-year misuse [OR: 3.44; 95% CI, 3.00–3.94]; and past-month misuse [OR: 4.50; 95% CI, 3.35–6.05]) compared to marijuana never-users. Similar results were found for the association of past-year and past-month marijuana use with prescription-opioid misuse. This study provides data on trends and associations about opioid misuse among marijuana users and non-users in a changing social environment of drug use in the United States. Future research should consider whether there is a causal relationship between marijuana use and prescription opioid misuse.