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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Marijuana and Prescription Pain Reliever Use among Cigarette Smokers.

  • Author(s): Goldberg, Rachel L
  • Cataldo, Janine K
  • et al.

Due to marijuana's analgesic effects and its growing national legal status, it is likely that marijuana's rising prevalence will impact prescription pain reliever (PPR) use. The present study investigates the relationship between marijuana and PPR use among U.S. adult current cigarette smokers. Data were analyzed from the Tobacco and Attitudes Beliefs Survey II, with 348 current cigarette smokers, aged 24-88. Logistic regression was used to examine the likelihood of current (past 30 days) PPR use by marijuana use (never, ever, and current) among cigarette smokers. Among PPR users (N = 76), we also investigated whether marijuana use frequency predicted current PPR use. Compared to never marijuana users, participants were more likely to report past 30-day PPR use if they have ever used marijuana (AOR: 2.58, 95% CI: 1.51-4.43) or have used marijuana in the past 30 days (AOR: 3.38, CI: 1.76-6.49). No significant relationship was found between marijuana use frequency and PPR use. Thus, in this sample of adult cigarette smokers, past and current marijuana users were two to three times more likely to report PPR use than never marijuana users. These findings can help inform policymakers and healthcare providers in their fight against the opioid epidemic.

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