According to a research study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, persons using medical marijuana along with prescription pain medication do not appear to have a higher risk of drug or alcohol abuse.
The study used nearly 300 medical marijuana patients as participants and more than 60% of them had used prescription pain medication within the past month.
The study revealed that there was only a slight difference in use of alcohol or other drugs — such as cocaine, non-prescription opioids like heroin, sedatives, and amphetamines — between medical marijuana patients who used prescription pain medication and those who did not.
“We expected that persons receiving both cannabis and prescription opioids would have greater levels of involvement with alcohol and other drugs,” stated study coauthor Brian Perron, PhD, of the University of Michigan School of Social Work in Ann Arbor. “However, that wasn’t the case — although persons who were receiving both medical cannabis and prescription opioids reported higher levels of pain, they showed very few differences in their use of alcohol and other drugs compared to those receiving medical cannabis only.”