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