Gundersen doctor skeptical on study supporting marijuana as replacement to opioids

The research suggests that some people turn to marijuana as a way to treat their pain, and by so doing, avoid more unsafe addictive drugs.

Researchers from the University of Kentucky collected and examined Medicare data that detailed opioid prescribing patterns between 2010 and 2015. The second study found that Medicaid enrollees filled almost 40 fewer opioid prescriptions per 1,000 people each year after their state passed any law making cannabis accessible - with greater drops seen in states that legalized both medical and recreational marijuana.

Nick Bansback, associate professor at UBC's School of Population and Public Health and one of the report's authors, said the results of his economic analysis of the SALOME trials show that such harm reduction policies save money in the long run. "There are substantial reductions in opiate use" in states that have legal dispensaries for medical marijuana, Bradford pointed out.

Alanna McCatty is founder and CEO of McCatty Scholars, an organization that devises and implements financial literacy programs for students to combat the nationwide issue of the loss of educational opportunity due to the ramifications of burdensome student debt. But some research suggests marijuana may encourage opioid use, and so might make the epidemic worse. She is a graduate of Pace University.

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She said: "I put her on her side and I was just rubbing her back, saying "everything's going to be OK". "It's not good enough". Of the 47 murders in London so far this year, 31 have been committed with knives.

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But the new research is the first to connect marijuana legalization to prescription painkillers with such large data sets.

As the opioid crisis rages on across North America, a number of recent studies are pointing to cannabis and prescription heroin as viable options in curbing the consumption of lethal street opiates, reducing long-term medical and policing costs and extending the lives of users. "I know policymakers are often skeptical of cannabis". Opioids, in addition to an addictive potential much greater than that of marijuana, have other unappealing side effects. That requires prospective licensees to find a city or town that has not either banned or put a freeze on adult-use marijuana establishments.

"We found that there was about a 14.5% reduction in any opiate use when dispensaries were turned on - and that was statistically significant - and about a 7% reduction in any opiate use when home cultivation only was turned on", Bradford said. Specifically, states with medical cannabis laws saw 20.7% fewer morphine prescriptions and 17.4% fewer hydrocodone prescriptions compared with states that did not have these laws, according to Bradford. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has promised to crack down on marijuana cases, with some exceptions. One, published previous year, showed that Medicare saved about $165 million in 2013 from medical marijuana laws. A study in 2017 also found that the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado in 2012 reversed the state's upward trend in opioid-related deaths. The new version would have required patients to get a doctor's order and go out of state to get the cannabis oil. But there may be an important difference between illicit cannabis use and legalized cannabis use, according to Hill. "We need to study the effects of these policies, and we really haven't done it to the degree that we should". A review of state-registered patients from various northeastern states yielded similar results, finding 77 percent of respondents acknowledged having reduced their use of opioids following cannabis therapy. "I believe there are also ballot measures to legalize marijuana in Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota as well that voters will decide on in Fall 2018".


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