Cannabis Might Help End the Country’s Opioid Crisis

Summary and opinion by Wendy Anderson

Since the year 2000 the number of opioid overdoses has increased by 200%, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bringing the totals for the year 2014 to 47,055. It’s not just heroin attributing to this large number of overdoses, but prescription drugs as well are a massive problem. Even more so because they are legal and tend to be over-prescribed. Another problem is that people are using the prescription drugs as a “fix” for heroin or vice versa since heroin tends to be cheaper.

Some of America’s top lawmakers, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, have urged the agency to take a look at medical cannabis as an alternative painkiller to opioids.

An increasing amount of research is showing that legalizing cannabis could help end the horrible opioid issue this country is having. A 2015 working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research is showing states with medical marijuana dispensaries have a significant drop in opioid addictions as well as overdoses. Showing that medical marijuana offers a safer more effective alternative to prescription drugs.

Another 2015 study found that 80% of medical marijuana users substituted cannabis for painkillers, and 52% said they drank less alcohol when using medical cannabis. Those are some extremely positive results! Now if only it could get the federal funding it needs so the people can get the help they need.

Read the original article here.

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