States With Medical Marijuana Laws Have Lower Rates of Opioid-Related Deaths, Study Finds

A recent study has stumbled upon a surprising finding: in states with legalized medical marijuana programs, opioid painkiller deaths have taken a sharp downward turn.

Data analysis revealed that hospitals failed to see the predicted uptick of pot smokers cross through their doors, but instead found a substantial drop in opioid users. While fears that the legalization of medical marijuana would lead to an increase of cannabis-related hospitalizations were proven to be unfounded, researchers discovered opioid overdoses decreased by 13 percent. Considering deaths from opioid use have skyrocketed over the last decade, the results of the study are significant.

“[M]edical marijuana laws may have reduced hospitalizations related to opioid pain relievers,” study author Yuyan Shi, a public health professor at the University of California, San Diego, told Reuters. “This study and a few others provided some evidence regarding the potential positive benefits of legalizing marijuana to reduce opioid use and abuse, but they are still preliminary.”

Although Dr. Esther Choo, a professor of emergency medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, was not involved in the study, she found the findings intriguing.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that battling the opioid epidemic will require a multi-pronged approach and a good deal of creativity,” she said. “Could increased liberalization of marijuana be part of the solution? It seems plausible.”

Via https://openheartedrebel.com/2017/05/18/states-medical-marijuana-laws-lower-rates-opioid-related-deaths-study-finds/

Openhearted Rebel

By Carolanne Wright,Wake Up World

A recent study has stumbled upon a surprising finding: in states with legalized medical marijuana programs, opioid painkiller deaths have taken a sharp downward turn.

Data analysis revealed that hospitals failed to see the predicted uptick of pot smokers cross through their doors, but instead found a substantial drop in opioid users. While fears that the legalization of medical marijuana would lead to an increase of cannabis-related hospitalizations were proven to be unfounded, researchers discovered opioid overdoses decreased by 13 percent. Considering deaths from opioid use have skyrocketed over the last decade, the results of the study are significant.

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