Is There More Than Meets the Eye: Comparing Prescription Opioid Misuse and Marijuana Use Amongst Americans

Andrew Johnson Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Prachi Arora Butler University, Rasitha Jayasekare Butler University
Background/Objectives: US declared an opioid epidemic in 2016. Marijuana, being non-opioid, is emerging as a potential alternative to opioid addiction. Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states; however, evidence supporting its long-term benefits is ambiguous. Objective of this study was to determine the likelihood of marijuana use for respondents misusing prescription opioids in US states with legal vs. illegal medical marijuana laws. Methods: Sample was National Survey on Drug Use and Health respondents from 2015-2017 reporting any lifetime opioid use. Dependent variable was past-year marijuana use days. Two independent variables were past-year prescription opioid misuse and state medical marijuana laws. Covariates included demographic/socioeconomic characteristics of respondents. First, descriptive statistics compared all variables. Then, a zero-inflated negative binomial regression model was assessed to determine the impact of opioid misuse and medical marijuana laws on marijuana use while controlling for covariates. Results: Marijuana use and opioid misuse were reported in 25.6% and 15.4% of the sample, respectively. Both were significantly higher in states with legal marijuana laws. The number of days of marijuana use was 34% higher in those misusing prescription opioids vs. not (p-value<0.00), after controlling for covariates. Also, the odds of having zero days of marijuana use was 73% lower in those misusing prescription opioids vs. not (p-value<0.00), after controlling for covariates. Conclusion: Since any epidemic requires a paradigm shift in exploring solutions, this study intends to build a better understanding of the relationship between marijuana laws, marijuana use, and opioid misuse during the crucial period of the opioid epidemic.
Pharmacy, Health Sciences, & Exercise Science
Oral Presentation

When & Where

09:00 AM
Pharmacy & Health Sciences 212