What If Opioids Went Up in Smoke?
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When we talk about opioid addiction, we forget that many people who need opioids are cancer patients and others in chronic pain. So, how do we balance their need to live a tolerable life and also prevent opioid abuse? A recent study noted a solution already working across the US.

In states where marijuana is legal, there are lower opioid prescriptions being filled. That’s a reverse from the last twenty five years where opioid prescriptions had increased by three hundred percent and is one major way people became addicted. But with medical marijuana now legal in thirty three states and recreational use being legal in nine states along with DC, people may be choosing marijuana to relieve their pain instead of opioids. In fact the numbers show states allowing medical marijuana had fewer people between the ages of eighteen and fifty four filling opioid prescriptions.

Around thirty seven million Americans used marijuana in the past year even though it hasn’t been federally approved. Some recent studies suggest that marijuana may be an effective alternative to opioids for certain types of pain. In one study, seventy percent of seventeen thousand patients being treated for cancer pain reported better pain management with marijuana. In another study, sixty four percent of patients said they were able to take fewer opioids on marijuana.

Even though marijuana use is still controversial, if it can prevent opioid addiction while keeping patients comfortable, this seems like a fair tradeoff to reduce the current deadly crisis with opioids.

For more information…

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