Overdoses on Painkillers Decreased in States With Medical Marijuana

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Harbor Village Florida Comments on Overdoses on Painkillers Decreasing in States with Medical Marijuana

According to a CNN article, entitled Medical Marijuana Laws May Reduce Painkiller Overdoses (8/25), a new study found that those states who legalized medical marijuana to help reduce pain have seen a significant decrease in the number of painkiller overdoses seen. By reviewing death certificate information over a ten year period, and comparing various states with and without legalized medical marijuana, researchers were able to find that there was about a 25% decrease in painkiller prescription overdoses in legalized marijuana states versus other states. Researchers also compared their findings against the nation, which has seen almost double the number of opioid analgesics overdoses in the past ten years, a problem that continues to plague the nation. Some within the article argue that these findings might lead to more physicians opting to treat chronic pain through the use of medical marijuana versus prescription pain pills.

Researchers who participated in this study make it very clear that the link between legalized medical marijuana and overdose deaths from pain killers may not be finite. Because some deaths might not be classified properly by death certificate and reporting can vary from state to state there may be some discrepancies in these findings. However, this is an important start to continuous research which can help to improve the quality of life for patients with chronic pain, and may be able to help reduce the number of prescription painkiller overdoses and deaths. Although, it is important to also weigh the pros and cons of marijuana usage in these cases as well.

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