Legal medical marijuana doctors are doing their best to not only supply their patients with medicinal cannabis, but to avoid over-prescribing dangerous medications like opioids. Currently, there are many more doctors who prescribe medical marijuana than there have ever been. Unfortunately, there are just as many legislators and advocates that are wholeheartedly against legal medical marijuana.
Thanks to some ongoing medical studies and research, however, the link between medicinal marijuana and opioid use drop-off could lead to increased acceptance.
According to The Washington Post, there is no confusion about it — legal marijuana is saving lives.
It’s estimated that 23% of individuals who develop heroin had a prior opioid addiction. In recent years, doctors across the country have prescribed these painkillers to patients battling anything from minor headaches to bone fractures. If these opioid users aren’t careful, they can easily develop a serious addiction, often resulting in heroin use and overdose.
Thanks to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, Marijuana may be part of the solution. Cannabis legalization in Colorado has shown to lead to a reversal of the state’s opiate overdose deaths.
“After Colorado’s legalization of recreational cannabis sale and use, opioid-related deaths decreased more than 6% in the following two years,” wrote study authors Tracey E. Barnett, Melvin D. Livingston, Chris Delcher, and Alexander C. Wagenaar.
The authors continued to note that marijuana is often highly effective at treating many of the same types of chronic pain that individuals are prescribed highly addictive painkillers for. Rather than choosing opiates, if left up to the patient, they will likely prefer to visit doctors who prescribe medical marijuana to combat their chronic pain.
The Big Think reports that in 2015 alone, 33,000 Americans died at the hands of opioid overdose. During a 15-year period from 2000 to 2015, it’s estimated that half a million Americans died from prescription drug overdoses.
“No one has ever died from smoking too much cannabis,” said University of New Mexico researcher and professor Jacob Miguel Vigil. “Therefore, the relative safety and efficacy of using cannabis in comparison to that of the other scheduled medications should be taken by the health providers and legislator.”
It seems as though doctors who prescribe medical marijuana will likely have their hands full in the coming years as the entire nation continues to battle the opioid epidemic. The American Journal of Public Health authors state that Colorado policymakers will have to keep a close eye on the upcoming statistics to see whether or not this deadly trend has continued.
If you’re searching for trusted medical marijuana doctors in Florida, contact Peace Medical today.