Opioid Use Increases Alcohol Relapse Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Katie Witkiewitz PhD Professor, Department of Psychology  University of New Mexico

Dr. Witkiewitz

Dr. Katie Witkiewitz PhD
Professor, Department of Psychology
University of New Mexico

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: The main findings from our study indicate that individuals with alcohol dependence who misused opioids (e.g., used without a prescription or not as prescribed) had a significantly higher likelihood of relapse to heavy drinking during alcohol treatment and were drinking more alcohol during and following alcohol treatment.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The results highlight the importance of considering other substances when discussing the opioid epidemic and the opioid crisis.  Many people co-use alcohol and opioids, and opioids may interfere with an individuals’ attempt to abstain from alcohol or reduce drinking. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Future research examining the impacts of the opioid epidemic should measure alcohol and other drug use. New targeted funding to combat the opioid epidemic should also consider research on alcohol and other drug use.

Citation:

Katie Witkiewitz, Victoria R. Votaw, Kevin E. Vowles, Henry R. Kranzler. Opioid Misuse as a Predictor of Alcohol Treatment Outcomes in the COMBINE Study: Mediation by Medication Adherence. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2018; DOI: 10.1111/ACER.13772 

 

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