Opioid use is dropping in states that have legalized the medicinal use of cannabis.
Two new studies were published Monday highlighting cannabis’ impact on the opioid epidemic. The research indicates that some patients are seeking out cannabis as an alternative to addictive and potentially dangerous opioid-based medications.
Many opioid abusers started out following the orders of their physicians when taking prescribed pain medication. Unfortunately, these medications can cause dependency and patients often seek out dangerous substances such as oxycodone or heroin after their prescriptions run out.
Researchers from one of the study found that patients may be better off never having received the initial prescription for opioid-based medication.
“We do know that cannabis much less risky than opiates, as far as likelihood of dependency,” says W. David Bradford, a professor of public policy at the University of Georgia. “And certainly there’s no mortality risk” from the drug itself.
Bradford’s interest in the topic was motivated by reports from the National Academy of Science Engineering and Medicine citing evidence that cannabis is effective in treating pain. Bradford decided to examine the issue with three