Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Research Continues To Show Benefits Of Marijuana In Fighting The Opioid Crisis

How Studying Sewage May Help Slow the Opioid Epidemic Opioid epidemic causing problems for medical examiners
Alonzo Parks | 04 April, 2018, 02:04

Yet no study to date has focused on the effect of medical and adult-use marijuana laws on opioid prescribing in particular. The studies compared opioid prescription patterns for patients enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare Part D in states that have enacted medical marijuana laws to states that have not. Previously published research has indicated that states with medical cannabis laws have shown up to a 25% reduction in opioid deaths and that states with medical cannabis dispensaries have shown reductions in opioid overdose deaths by as much as 40%. But one study found that opioids dispensed through Medicare's prescription drug plan decreased significantly if people had access to medical pot dispensaries or were allowed to grow marijuana for their own use.

Drug overdoses killed almost 64,000 Americans in 2016, with two-thirds of deaths involving a prescription or illicit opioid, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina says starting Sunday it's no longer covering first-time prescription of short-acting opioids for more than a seven-day supply.

What's more, studying prescription data from states can only reveal a correlation between medical-marijuana laws and a reduction in opioid use; it can't show a cause-and-effect relationship, Hill said. The overprescribing of opioids is considered to be a major contributor to the opioid epidemic.

W. David Bradford, an economist at the University of Georgia in Athens who's an author of the second study, said the results add to other findings that suggest to experts that marijuana is a viable alternative to opioids.

Pope Uses Easter Message to Pray for Peace in Syria
The denominations, which jealously guard different sections of the church, held separate services one after another. Pope Francis has highlighted the plight of migrants numerous times during his papacy.

Since 1992, the number of prescription opioids went from around 112 million to 236 million in 2016. In February, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills reported 418 drug overdose deaths in the state in 2017, an 11 percent rise over 2016 - when deaths surged 40 percent over 2015. Two new studies in the debate suggest it may.

Both studies were released Monday by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. "But if a patient has tried to treat pain using multiple modalities without success, a trial of medical cannabis may make sense".

"These findings suggest that cannabis may play a role in fighting the opioid crisis by reducing some patients' need for opioids", said Dr Kevin Hill, co-author of an accompanying editorial and director of addiction psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. As prescriptions increase, so does the possibility for addiction and overdose. It remains highly prevalent that the use of medicinal marijuana can benefit those who are addicted to different types of opioid-based drugs.

Limiting initial opioid prescription lowers the risk of addiction and chances of unused drugs hitting the street.

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