Ameritox study shows correlation between positive marijuana tests, misuse of prescription drugs

Ameritox, one of the nation's leaders in pain medication monitoring, announced new research today showing a correlation between positive marijuana tests and higher rates of potential prescription drug non-adherence among chronic pain medication users. The research was presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine annual meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Over the course of one year, Ameritox studied more than a 100,000 urine samples from patients nationwide who were prescribed hydrocodone, the most frequently prescribed medication in the United States, marketed under the names Vicodin, Lorcet, Lortab and others. The results show that of the samples that tested positive for marijuana, 36.5% did not have the prescribed hydrocodone present. For patients who had no illicit drug detected, 29.7% had a negative test for hydrocodone use. This finding was statistically significant. The research also found that 29.1% of the samples that were positive for marijuana and 29.9% of samples that were positive for cocaine contained an additional non-prescribed medication, such as a tranquilizer. In patients without evidence of illicit drug use only 22% of samples indicated an unexpected or non-prescribed medication was being used.

"A clinician considering whether to test for marijuana should know that the data strongly suggests that marijuana use is associated with an increased risk of potential prescription drug non-adherence," Ameritox Chief Medical Officer Dr. Harry Leider said. "Evidence of marijuana use on a urine drug test can be as much of a red flag as a positive cocaine test that a patient's use of prescription narcotics requires close monitoring."

SOURCE Ameritox


  1. Malcolm Kyle Malcolm Kyle Netherlands says:

    The fact that marijuana users do not need or use dangerous opiate based medicines is very positive.

    FDA approved Prescription drugs kill some 200,000 Americans every year.

    "An estimated 770,000 people are injured or die each year in hospitals from adverse drug events (ADEs) defined as an injury resulting from medical intervention related to a drug.

    * The number of deaths from drug poisonings in the U.S. has increased sixfold since 1980.

    Fully 40% of these deaths in 2008 involved the use of prescription opioid pain relievers such as codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone, (was 25% in 1999) - In 2008.

    * PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLERS: drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone, the main ingredients in Oxycontin and Vicodin, landed 305,885 Americans in emergency rooms in 2008 -- more than double the 144,644 visits in 2004, (2010 study by Samsha and the CDC)

    Overdose deaths involving these opioid pain relievers (oxycodone and hydrocodone; and synthetic narcotics such as fentanyl and propoxyphene) now exceed deaths from heroin and cocaine combined (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
    Prescription drug overdoses have been increasing in the United States over the last decade, and by 2008 had reached 36,450 deaths—almost as many as from motor vehicle crashes (39,973).

  2. Chas Holman Chas Holman United States says:


    the REASON I eat cannabis daily is in LIEU of opiates they had me all wrapped up and dependent on.

    Vicodin is one of the most abused drugs on the planet,. It kills thousands every year and really screws up a lot of once good people. In my case after prolonged use (chronic conditions, bone disease)  the vicodin (then later Oxy, then morphone) was killing my liver and sucking my soul from me and destroying my 30 year marriage as I sat around like an apathetic self serving lump unable to function on any real level as the 'prescribed' narcotics were slowly killing me (literally).

    The ONLY THING I read from this study.. is you need less deadly prescribed dope with grass.. it isn't that grass smokers were proved to be neglectful.. turns out they were being more 'thoughtful'.

    Another study they may of said 'Marijuana is a gateway drug'.. but they tried that.. so now it is a drug that KEEPS you from the real dope.. they need to make up their paranoid 'little' minds.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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