In the research, individuals with alcohol dependence, who misused opioids and those who used cannabis and other drugs were more likely to drink heavily and frequently during and following treatment.
On average, individuals with opioid misuse engaged in heavy drinking 48 days earlier to the treatment, drank heavily on approximately eight percent and 13 percent more in last days of the treatment and one year following it, respectively. They consumed four 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."
The study has been published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research....