The enactment of marijuana legalization laws is associated with a significant reduction in the number of opioids prescribed and filled, according to a pair of studies published online today in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
Patients routinely reduce or eliminate their use of prescription opiates following the use of medical cannabis; two recently published studies reaffirm this relationship.
The implementation of medical marijuana programs is associated with a decrease in the prevalence of opioids detected among fatally injured drivers, according to data published in the American Journal of Public Health.
Rising rates of medical cannabis use among Canadian military veterans is associated with a parallel decline in the use of prescription opiates and benzodiazepenes, according to newly released federal data.
Cannabis use is associated with improved outcomes in opioid-dependent subjects undergoing outpatient treatment, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. “One of the interesting study findings was the observed beneficial effect of marijuana smoking on treatment retention,” authors concluded. “Participants who smoked marijuana had less difficulty with sleep and anxiety and were more likely to remain in treatment as compared to those who were not using marijuana, regardless of whether they were taking dronabinol or placebo.”
States that permit qualified patients to access medical marijuana via dispensaries possess lower rates of opioid addiction and overdose deaths, according to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a non-partisan think-tank. “[S]tates permitting medical marijuana dispensaries experience a relative decrease in both opioid addictions and opioid overdose deaths compared to states that do not,” authors reported. They found that women over the age of 40 showed the most significant decrease in problematic opioid use.
NORML reviews the top news stories of 2014.
The enactment of medicinal marijuana laws is associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates, according to data published online today by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers reported, “States with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws. … Although the exact mechanism is unclear, our results suggest a link between medical cannabis laws and lower opioid analgesic overdose mortality.”
Cannabis consumption is associated with mitigated symptoms of opiate withdrawal in subjects undergoing methadone maintenance treatment, according to the findings of a new study published online in The American Journal on Addictions. “[I]ncreased cannabis use was found to be associated with lower severity of [opiate] withdrawal in a subset of the sample with available chart data,” authors wrote. “These results suggested a potential role for cannabis in the reduction of withdrawal severity during methadone induction.”