Effects of smoking cessation on illicit drug use among opioid maintenance patients: A pilot study

Kelly E. Dunn, Stacey C. Sigmon, Edward Reimann, Sarah H. Heil, Stephen T. Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Opioid treatment program patients and staff often have concerns that smoking cessation may jeopardize abstinence from illicit drug use. In this study, we evaluated whether smoking abstinence produced with a two-week contingency-management (CM) intervention was associated with relapse to illicit drug use among patients enrolled in opioid maintenance. Opioid-maintenance patients who were stable in treatment and abstinent from illicit drugs were enrolled in a 14-day smoking-cessation study. Participants were dichotomized into Abstainers (> 90% smoking-negative samples, n=12) and Smokers (< 10% smoking-negative samples, n=16). Illicit drug assays included opioids, pxycodone, propoxyphene, cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine, and benzodiazepines. There were no differences between the Abstainers and Smokers, with 99% and 96% of samples testing negative for all illicit drugs in each group, respectively. Data from this study provide no evidence that smoking cessation among stable opioid-maintained patients undermines drug abstinence and lend support for programs that encourage smoking cessation during drug abuse treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-328
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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