Monday, 23 July, 2018

Could Medical Pot Help Curb the Opioid Abuse Crisis?

White House launches a new website to solicit opioid addiction stories Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Delia Stanley | 04 April, 2018, 02:04

Wen found that medical and adult-use cannabis laws were associated with lower opioid prescribing rates. Studies suggest marijuana use is rising fastest among older Americans-a group that's also most likely to have the type of pain conditions that respond best to marijuana, the researchers said.

Vermont Business Magazine In a startling report released today, National Safety Council research shows just 13 states and Washington, DC, have implemented comprehensive, proven actions to eliminate opioid overdoses and help protect their residents.

North Carolina's largest health insurer is clamping down on coverage of opioid prescriptions.

In a speech in New Hampshire last month outlining the administration's plan to deal with a nationwide opiate overdose crisis that claimed over 42,000 lives in 2016, President Donald Trump called on researchers to "come up with a painkiller that's not so addictive". That suggest the medical marijuana laws didn't reach some people who could benefit from using marijuana instead of opioids, said Hefei Wen of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, one of the study authors. The overprescribing of opioids is considered to be a major contributor to the opioid epidemic.

Our study provides some of the first empirical evidence that the implementation of medical and adult-use marijuana laws between 2011 and 2016 was associated with lower opioid prescribing rates and spending among Medicaid enrollees.

When states implemented medical marijuana laws, however, the annual opioid prescription rate declined by nearly 6%, or approximately 39 fewer prescriptions for every 1,000 people enrolled in Medicaid each year.

Legalisation of marijuana may play a role in fighting the ongoing United States opioid crisis.

At this point, 30 states and the District of Columbia have laws legalizing some form of marijuana use, including eight states that have legalized recreational use.

If the latest research is any indication, those actions might simply make the opioid epidemic even worse.

But states with medical pot dispensaries filled 3.7 million fewer daily doses, and states with home cultivation filled 1.8 million fewer doses, they said.

Each day, 90 Americans die from opioid overdoses, Hill notes in JAMA Internal Medicine, where both studies were published.

At the same time, Hill says medical marijuana should not be given a lead role in treating chronic pain. Hill wrote an editorial that accompanied the two articles.

Most people, including teenagers, with an opioid-use disorder start out with a legitimate prescription for the drugs from health care providers for pain management.

For one thing, they don't reveal whether individual patients actually reduced or avoided using opioids because of the increased access to marijuana.

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