OBJECTIVE: Polysubstance use may complicate treatment outcomes for individuals who use opioids. This research aimed to examine the prevalence of polysubstance use in an opioid use disorder treatment trial population and polysubstance use’s association with opioid relapse and craving.
METHODS: This study is a secondary data analysis of individuals with opioid use disorder who received at least one dose of medication (n = 474) as part of a 24-week, multi-site, open label, randomized Clinical Trials Network study (CTN0051, X:BOT) comparing the effectiveness of extended-release naltrexone versus buprenorphine. Models examined pretreatment polysubstance use and polysubstance use during the initial 4 weeks of treatment on outcomes of relapse by week 24 of the treatment trial and opioid craving.
RESULTS: Polysubstance use was generally not associated with treatment outcomes of opioid relapse and craving. Proportion of days of pretreatment sedative use was associated with increased likelihood of opioid relapse (OR: 1.01, 95 % CI: 1.00-1.02). Proportion of days of cocaine use during the initial 4 weeks of treatment was associated with increased likelihood of opioid relapse (OR: 1.05, 95 % CI: 1.01-1.09) but this effect was no longer significant once the potential of confounding by opioid use was considered. Sedative use during initial 4 weeks of treatment was associated with increased opioid craving (b: 0.77, 95 % CI: 0.01-1.52). The study found no other significant relationships.
CONCLUSIONS: In the current study population, polysubstance use was only marginally associated with 24-week treatment outcomes.
Polysubstance use before and during treatment with medication for opioid use disorder: Prevalence and association with treatment outcomes
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 143, 108830. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2022.108830.