The use of synthetic cannabinoids receptor agonists (SCRA) and synthetic opioids is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. This study examined the patterns-of-use of prescription oral opioids or transdermal fentanyl formulations, and SCRA, among 342 patients enrolled in treatment for drug-dependence in Israel. 16.1% of participants reported recent (past-12 months) SCRA use, while 24.9% reported recent use of prescription oral opioids, transdermal fentanyl patches, or both. Odds of reporting recent use of SCRA were positively and significantly associated with reporting recent use of cannabis (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] 9.86, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 4.44–21.90) and synthetic cathinones (AOR 5.47, CI 2.50–11.96). Recent use of prescription oral opioids or transdermal fentanyl formulations use was positively and significantly associated with recent use of gabapentinoids (AOR 14.33, CI 7.10, 28.90), stimulants (AOR 7.12, CI 3.82,13.28), heroin (AOR 5.81, CI 3.39,9.97), benzodiazepines (AOR 4.63, CI 2.74,7.84), synthetic cathinones (AOR 4.12, CI 1.95, 8.70), and hallucinogens (AOR 2.48, CI 1.24, 2.96). Clinicians should be informed about the extent of prescription oral opioids or transdermal fentanyl formulations and SCRA use among high-risk drug users, and the associated higher odds of concomitantly using other psychoactive substance, for they represent actual risk to patients and complicate treatment.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Authority for Prevention of Violence, Alcohol and Drug Abuse under grant 0394937. The authors of the study wish to express their gratitude to the valuable administrative assistance provided by staff at the Beer-Sheva Methadone Centre, Tel-Aviv Zur Aviv, Jerusalem Methadone Centre, Maor Ashdod, and MAAMATZ Haifa centers.
© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- Prescription opioids
- drug substitution