[Rushtalk] Opioid use decreases in US states that legalize medical marijuana

John Quayle blueoval57 at verizon.net
Thu Nov 17 14:55:32 MST 2016


/*Opioid use has reached epidemic proportions here in western Penn's 
Woods. There are obituaries weekly in the paper of its victims. 
Sad..........*/


On 11/17/2016 2:16 PM, Carl Spitzer wrote:
>
>
>     *Opioid use decreases in US states that legalize medical marijuana
>     – study*
>
>
>               *RT | September 17, 2016
>               <https://www.rt.com/usa/359655-marijuana-laws-opioid-usage/>*
>
>
>
> New research shows a decline in the use of opioid painkillers in US 
> states that allow people to treat pain with medical marijuana, 
> affirming the fears of Big Pharma who have been vigorously seeking to 
> frustrate efforts to legalize the herb.
>
> Columbia University researchers examined data from 1999 to 2013 and 
> found an association between a state legalizing medical marijuana and 
> a reduction in testing positive for opioids afte r dying in a car 
> accident, particularly among drivers aged 21 to 40.
>
> The study, published in the /American Journal of Public Health 
> <http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303426?journalCode=ajph>/, examined 
> data of 69000 traffic fatalities in 18 states and analyzed the cases 
> in which the presence of opioids was detected.
>
> They found that drivers in that age bracket who died in car crashes, 
> after a medical marijuana law had been implemented, were half as 
> likely to test positive for opioids when compared to similarly aged 
> drivers who crashed in states before such laws were in place.
>
> “That’s a pretty moderate-to-large reduction,” said lead author June 
> H. Kim, a doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology at 
> Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, according to /Live Science 
> <http://www.livescience.com/56119-medical-marijuana-may-cut-opioid-use.html>/.
>
> “We would expect the adverse consequences of opioid use to decrease 
> over time in states where medical marijuana use is legal, as 
> individuals substitute marijuana for opioids in the treatment of 
> severe or chronic pain,” Kim said.
>
> This logic is not applicable to those over 40, however, with 
> researchers finding no decrease in opioid use for over 40s in the 
> states with operational medical marijuana programs.
>
> This is consistent with previous research which has found that most 
> medical marijuana patients are aged under 45.
>
> The study comes only days after it emerged that as the amount of 
> prescription painkillers and heroin dependence-related claims have 
> increased, the private healthcare sector has been struggling to deal 
> with the associated costs.
>
> Research from Fair Health found that in 2015, “private payers’ average 
> costs for a patient diagnosed with opioid abuse or dependence were 
> more than 550 percent higher – almost $16,000 more per patient – than 
> the per-patient average cost based on all patients’ claims.”
>
> The report also coincides with the revelation that Insys Therapeutics, 
> which profits off of a painkiller 50 times more potent than heroin, 
> has been funding an anti-legalization campaign in Arizona in an 
> apparent bid to eliminate ‘the competition.’
>
> Insys isn’t the first pharmaceutical company to be found bankrolling 
> anti-marijuana legislation though with a number of alcohol and 
> pharmaceutical companies “heavily” invested in such laws in a number 
> of states, according to /The Intercept 
> <https://theintercept.com/2016/09/14/beer-pot-ballot/>/.
>
>
>
>
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