New Study Shows Compelling Data Linking Medical Marijuana Laws to a Reduction in Opioid Overdose Deaths

Every time the debate over the legalization/decriminalization of marijuana starts, my boyfriend (a doctor) totally dismissed the medicinal benefits or marijuana. He likes to hinge his argument around addiction and abuse relating to non-legalized analgesics. As a counter to this, bring up the fact that it is the addiction and abuse of legalized, highly regulated (yeah right) narcotic medication that has launched the nation’s heroin epidemic into the lime-light. Point, set, match.

In a study published on the JAMA website entitled, Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Analgesic Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1999-2010, researchers took an in-depth look at the mortality rates in the 23 states who currently allow marijuana for medicinal use. The study found that across the board there was a 24.8% lower mean annual overdose rate
due to opioid medications over the this 10 year span. For years the U.S. has experienced a spike in deaths related to deadly drugs like OxyCotin, and for years, physicians have known that something needs to be done to strengthen their shoddy prescribing practices and protocols. The author of this article, Marcus Bachhuber, MD, makes a final recommendation that, “if the relationship between medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality is substantiated in further work, enactment of laws to allow for use of medical cannabis may be advocated as part of a comprehensive package of polies to reduce the population risk of opioid analgesics.”

Physicians have trusted big pharmacy far too much. They have trusted these multi-billion dollar operations to formulate pills claiming to treat virtually any aliment. Furthermore, the public was lead to believe these same companies were producing “safe” medicines because well, as long as it was prescribed by a physician it didn’t make you an addict. This is simply not the case. Now we are seeing the error of our ways and that these so-called “miracle pain pills” are leading to addiction and death at an alarming rate. Over half of the addicts being treated today in the U.S. for opioid abuse are getting the pills from their family and friends. Maybe we’re allowing the wrong drug to be banned? Who says what gets outlawed and who can flood the market?

That would be the DEA, but that’s a topic for another day. So, back to this study. What the evidence suggests is that there is a correlation between drug addiction and marijuana, it just wasn’t what they expected to find. Marijuana isn’t creating drug addicts, in fact, it can help those who have fallen victim.

While I can appreciate the fact that physicians are trying to change their protocols it’s just not happening fast enough. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, marijuana has a place in our society today. Not tomorrow, not after years of FDA trials and test, we need pot now! This study shows that marijuana is fixing the problems companies like Prude Pharma (the makers of OxyCotin) have created without any concern for the safety of the general public. Medications like Percocet and OxyCotin are extremely addictive and even though they have a place within the inpatient world of pain management it has been shown time and again that we, as a society, can’t be trusted to use the medication as it is prescribed. Hopefully we will soon see a day when doctors reach for rolling papers instead of their prescription pad.

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About NancyBotwin85

I'm a 30 and a native Ohioan. As a cancer survivor and a chronic pain sufferer, I understand how devastating and debilitating these illnesses and conditions can be one someone's life. Most of my writings deal with medicinal marijuana use and I am trying to open anti-pot people's eyes to the healing properties of this plant.
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