Painkiller overdoses reduced by Medical Marijuana Laws?

Just a couple of days ago, a new study was posted to the journal JAMA of Internal Medicine, and a very interesting article was written by Dr. Jamie Zimmerman, ABC News.

What they said was states that have legalized medical marijuana appear to have 25% fewer deaths from overdoses of prescription painkillers. As we all know painkillers are used and abused in this country and 100 Americans die EVERY DAY from narcotic painkiller overdose according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quite shocking!

Dr. Marcus Bachhuber, a physician and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania and his colleagues analyzed the data on all 50 states between 1999 and 2010. While painkiller overdose rates climbed across the States, the states with medical marijuana laws climbed much slower and as the result those states had 25% fewer deaths from overdoses. They anticipated some differences but were very surprised at such a huge difference! 

The results from the study:  Conclusions and Relevance   Medical cannabis laws are associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates. Further investigation is required to determine how medical cannabis laws may interact with policies aimed at preventing opioid analgesic overdose.

So the Medical Marijuana laws can protect those that want to control their pain with cannabis. Some people do not like the side effects of narcotic drugs and the potential for overdoses so they turn to a more natural remedy. Others might take prescription painkillers but also take cannabis which can lower the possibility of an overdose because they are taking less of the narcotics. Of course the question always is....what is causing the pain in the first place? If you can address that, then the pain can be resolved but if it is pain management that you are looking for, this study surely gives us other way of looking at pain control. 

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