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Pain Research and Management
Volume 2018, Article ID 5704128, 4 pages
Clinical Study

Accuracy of Patient Opioid Use Reporting at the Time of Medical Cannabis License Renewal

1Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA
2Department of Economics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA
3Industrial Rehabilitation Clinics, Albuquerque, NM, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Jacob M. Vigil; ude.mnu@jligiv

Received 27 October 2017; Accepted 11 January 2018; Published 28 January 2018

Academic Editor: Gokhan Zengin

Copyright © 2018 Jacob M. Vigil et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The decision to authorize a patient for continued enrollment in a state-sanctioned medical cannabis program is difficult in part due to the uncertainty in the accuracy of patient symptom reporting and health functioning including any possible effects on other medication use. We conducted a pragmatic convenience study comparing patient reporting of previous and current prescription opioid usage to the opioid prescription records in the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) among 131 chronic pain patients (mean age = 54; 54% male) seeking the first annual renewal of their New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program (NMMCP) license. Seventy-six percent of the patients reported using prescription opioids prior to enrollment in the NMMCP, however, the PMP records showed that only 49% of the patients were actually prescribed opioids in the six months prior to enrollment. Of the 64 patients with verifiable opioid prescriptions prior to NMMCP enrollment, 35 (55%) patients reported having eliminated the use of prescription opioids by the time of license renewal. PMP records showed that 26 patients (63% of patients claiming to have eliminated the use of opioid prescriptions and 41% of all patients with verifiable preenrollment opioid use) showed no prescription opioid activity at their first annual NMMCP renewal visit.