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Study: Medical Marijuana Decreases Drug Overdose Deaths

medical cannabisBy Brad Broker

The legalization of medical marijuana has led to a decrease in drug overdose deaths, according to a new study.

Chronic pain is so common among U.S. patients that prescriptions for opioids has practically doubled during the last 10 years.  But now that 23 states (and counting) have enacted medical marijuana laws, more patients have access to “alternative nonopioid treatments” to take care of that chronic pain.

Researchers have found that “states with medical cannabis laws had lower mean opioid analgesic overdose mortality rates compared with states without such laws,” according to the authors led by Marcus A. Bachhuber, MD, of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. “This increased access to medical cannabis may reduce opioid analgesic use by patients with chronic pain, and therefore reduce opioid analgesic overdoses.”

The researchers examined data from 1999-2010.  Only three states had medical marijuana laws prior to the study period, and 10 states have enacted laws since the end of that period.  More than half of the states do not have, or are currently considering, legislation regarding medical marijuana.  When more states hop on board, it is possible that “increased access to cannabis through medical cannabis laws could influence opioid misuse,” said the authors in the current JAMA Internal Medicine.

With that said, it appears as though medical marijuana may be a better alternative than opioids for patients with chronic pain.

 

2 comments

  1. A second wave of opioid pushing is coming from the Department of Health and Human Services “National PAin StrategY” which is being developed by members of organization that have been under federal inveswtigation for opioids. And so there will be increased use of opioids in the near future-but, of course, the experts will claim that it is safe use. I guess the more things change in the opioid economy, the more they remain the same.

  2. the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING! 13

    1000s of my friends and family have grown 30-99 plants for 20 years, thanks for keeping prices high and NORCAL wealthy…#1 crop in cali = $15 Billion Untaxed…

    “any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death” – cali secret 420

    from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

    20 years behind us southern states and NEW YORK (CBD = Can’t Be Done), sad and scary….nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states and more blacks are in prison then were slaves before the civil war…even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice…no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol…not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…

    Deaths by Alcohol: Millions
    Deaths by Tobacco: Millions

    Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade
    
Deaths by Guns: Millions
    
Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions
    
Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever…they are killing my American family while denying freedom

    love and freedom forever

    AMERICA’S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS! 33

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