A recent investigation by the Journal of the American Medical Association offered some promising news on the correlation between lower opiate usage and states that have legalized cannabis.
According to the study, prescriptions filled for opiates dropped from 23.08 million doses per year to 2.11 million when a state instituted any medical cannabis law. When medical cannabis dispensaries opened, prescriptions for all opioids decreased by 3.742 million daily doses per year.
According to some harrowing statistics from the CDC, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, 214 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication were written in 2016 (that’s 66.5 prescriptions per 100 people!) Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids, more than 40% of all US opioid overdose deaths involved prescribed opiates, and nearly two-thirds (66%) of drug overdoses in 2016 involved prescription or illicit opioids.
While there is still plenty of work to be done, the legalization of cannabis has proven to be a helpful aid in addressing some of the opioid epidemic. Our hearts go out to anyone who has or is experiencing the heartbreak that can accompany addiction. Here’s to a hopeful year ahead!