Previous research has found dualistic effects on alcohol consumption with low doses of buprenorphine increasing alcohol and higher doses of buprenorphine reducing alcohol consumption in rats (Ciccocioppo et al., 2006). Other existing research on naloxone treatment and alcohol consumption in opioid use has demonstrated that alcohol consumption decreases after naloxone treatment in rats (Hyytia & Sinclair, 1993). Yet, no research has been conducted on either rats or humans on the effects of buprenorphine and naloxone medication combined. The effects of opioid maintenance therapy are controversial and the relationship between alcohol consumption and opioid dependency treatment is mainly based on literature review research and research conducted on rats. Although literature reviews and research on rats provide insight and inferences on possible outcomes in humans, further research on this topic is required and should be conducted on patients in opioid dependency clinics to conclude if the results from previous research on rats and literature reviews hold. The present study assessed alcohol consumption among individuals diagnosed with opioid use disorder, it specifically assessed different opioid dependence treatment and their effect on alcohol consumption. In this study, it was hypothesized patients who use buprenorphine/naloxone will consume less alcohol than patients who use buprenorphine alone, even when controlling for pre-treatment drinking rates. Results demonstrated participants in the buprenorphine group reported binge drinking less frequently than participants in the buprenorphine/naloxone group alone, although when adjusting for pre-treatment drinking, the effect does not hold true.
Date of publication
Eric Stocks, Amy Hayes, Sarah Sass
Masters in Clinical Psychology
Flores, Emily V., "Opioid Dependency and its Effects on Alcohol Consumption" (2020). Psychology and Counseling Theses. Paper 9.
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