The official journal of
EUROPAD - European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
WFTOD - World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
Editor: Icro Maremmani, MD - Pisa, Italy, EU
Associate Editors:
Thomas Clausen, MD - Oslo, Norway
Pier Paolo Pani, MD - Cagliari, Italy, EU
Marta Torrens, MD - Barcelona, Spain, EU
Statistical Editor:
Mario Miccoli, PhD - Pisa, Italy, EU

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Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems: 2023, 25, N6 (pages: 17 - 23)

Patients on buprenorphine maintenance treatment. Cannabis and amphetamine use

Simonovska N., Velikj Stefanovska V., Bekarovski N., Petkovska L., Pereska Z., Babulovska A., and Kostovski D.

Summary: Background. Patients undergoing opioid maintenance therapy represent a traditional high-risk group for other substance use and substance use disorders. Aim. To assess the profile of patients on buprenorphine maintenance treatment who use cannabis, amphetamine or cannabis and amphetamine in parallel. Methods. This analytical cross-sectional study was implemented at the Skopje University Clinic for Toxicology in 2021. It included 112 patients diagnosed with opioid use disorder on buprenorphine treatment. Data were collected using a previously designed self-administered questionnaire adapted to the “treatment demand indicator”. The following variables were analysed: gender, age, duration of the opioid use disorder, route of administration, duration of buprenorphine treatment, buprenorphine dose, and cannabis and amphetamine use. Results. Participants n=112 (99 males and 13 females), with a mean age of 38.7±4.3 years, were enrolled. Parallel use of buprenorphine with cannabis was declared in 43.7% of the patients, and they were significantly younger (37.6±5.5 years) compared to the others (41.3±7.6) (p=0.014). 14.3% of patients used a combination of buprenorphine and amphetamine, and they were significantly younger (35.1±4.3 years compared to the others (40.5±7.1 years) (p=0.003). Buprenorphine with cannabis and amphetamine was practised in 17 (15.2%) patients aged 38.5±7.3 years. Conclusions. Almost half of the patients on buprenorphine treatment reported parallel use of cannabis. Patients who declared similar use of cannabis and amphetamines were younger than the remaining participants. There was no correlation between gender, duration of opioid dependence, route of administration, duration of buprenorphine treatment, buprenorphine dose with cannabis, amphetamine, and both cannabis and amphetamine use.


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